What are the everyday objects of the town of Barnsley? A new exhibition aims to spark a few ideas
Last year, a now-defunct tourist board account, Visit Barnsley, tweeted the charms of the South Yorkshire town, including its status as the Pound Shop Capital of the North, disregard for health and safety via two men drinking beer in a bath above an open fire and a whippet snatching gold at the county’s dog Olympics.
In response to a spoof which organisers admit created “unwanted publicity”, Barnsley’s Civic arts centre has launched a call for objects from local residents, inspired by a visiting exhibition of works by Jason Taylor, a designer who shapes seemingly mundane possessions into something stranger: a pencil given gold spikes to look like a precious hedgehog, beer with a duct tape handle, bits of cotton pressed into shot glasses.
Taylor spent every day of 2012 playing transformers with objects – a “silly idea”, he concedes, but also a fun, frustrating and confusing one.
"I wanted to show people how you have to keep on going to get something interesting - throwing lots of darts until you hit the bullseye,” he says. “That's the essence of my work - the object is the starting point and the introduction to a new story.
“I really love the idea of transforming ordinary things and making them look more interesting and fun to use.” Lining paper, a bottle opener, salad bands and “elastic bands stored on an old reel thingy” are already taken. The next inventions are down to the people.
- Jason Taylor: Everyday Objects, IN Transition runs from July 9 – August 27 2016. Visit everydayobject.wordpress.com and use the hashtag #everydayobjectsbarnsley.
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Three places to see everyday items transformed
Tate Britain, London
The work of Rachel Whiteread, who will be the subject of a major exhibition at the gallery next year, is characterized by its use of industrial materials such as plaster, concrete, resin, rubber and metal to cast the surfaces and volume in and around everyday objects and architectural space, creating evocative sculptures that range from the intimate to the monumental. September 12 2017 — February 4 2018.
A World in Miniature Museum, Carlisle
This "truly amazing" museum contains of one the world's top three collections of quality miniatures, including remarkable 1/12 scale copies of antique furniture, paintings and china in beautiful room settings.
Museum of Brands and Packaging, London
200 years of consumer culture, reflected through packaging design, brand development, poster and TV advertising from the collection of Robert Opie. Over 12,000 items including toys, magazines, branded goods, social ephemera, postcards and fashions.