Abbot's Hall is Unpicking and Rebinding at the Museum of East Anglian Life

By Sarah Jackson | 22 August 2013

Exhibition Preview: unpicking and rebinding, Abbott’s Hall at the Museum of East Anglian Life, Stowmarket, August 31 - October 20 2013

Work from unpicking and rebinding by Les Bicknell.
© 2013 Les Bicknell
Artist Les Bicknell’s work has in the past focused heavily on the book as both a form and symbol. His latest exhibition, unpicking and rebinding, is a project in partnership with the Museum of East Anglian Life (MEAL) aiming to map and present the journey made by the artist to create a new body of work exploring the fold.

Writing on his blog, Les states that the symbol of the book as an object can be used as a vehicle to enable the maker and the viewer/reader to communicate directly. It is a familiar form that is instantly recognisable as being imbued with power and knowledge.

However, these notions can be challenged by reforming the structure of the book. Rather than being an authority, the book can create a dialogue between the maker and the viewer as they seek to understand the new work.

The result is a reflective experience, allowing viewers to take time to look and consider the object and how it is connected to them and the surrounding space.

Les is now beginning a new body of work focusing on the fold. Inspired by objects in the museum’s collection, he has examined the role and purpose of folds – to conceal, decorate and strengthen.

The project has also enabled him to look at how museum collections can be used as a creative launch pad to make new work.

"In some ways it’s been like Christmas every time I visit," he says.

"Another box opened to reveal a moment from the past which helps me get a little closer to my own creativity today which will enable me to make work in the future.

"I want to stimulate new ways of thinking for established audiences and build new audiences too.”

The final displayed work will also encourage viewers to think about how the collection could be used and how individuals could work with objects in new ways.

More pictures:

Work from unpicking and rebinding by Les Bicknell.
© 2013 Les Bicknell
Work from unpicking and rebinding by Les Bicknell.
© 2013 Les Bicknell
Work from unpicking and rebinding by Les Bicknell.
© 2013 Les Bicknell

Follow Sarah Jackson on Twitter @SazzyJackson.

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