Artist Turns People's Treasures Into Forensic Art In Portsmouth

By 24 Hour Museum Staff | 24 September 2007
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an oil painting showing a man in formal victorian attire

A Victorian oil painting. © Seran Kubisa

An arts project that uses everyday items from local people and historical collections and transforms them into stunning images is underway in Portsmouth.

Treasure Island is a citywide public arts initiative organised by artist Seran Kubisa who has been searching for hidden treasures within the city's communities and organisations.

Fibres from personal objects have been collected and some of them chosen for scientific analysis. All the collected fibres, data, photographed items along with their associated memories have then been permanently recorded in the city museums' archives.

So far, objects belonging to the people of Portsmouth as varied as paintings, books, posters and Napoleonic cannonballs have been analysed and transformed into colourful images.

Now the artist is appealing for more people to come forward with their treasured objects to be recorded and transformed into exotic works of art.

"Tiny samples from these items and their associated stories will be used to create visual arts treasures of a normally unseen world,” explained Seran Kubisa. “The natural fluorescence found in older objects can be read as scientific data and this is transformed into stunning images revealing incredible microscopic structures of a normally invisible world.”

a microscopic images showing a mass of purple and pink fibres

Forensic analysis transforms the Victorian painting into forensic art. © Seran Kubisa

Members of the public who think they have got interesting items tucked away are asked to bring them along to the City Museum in Portsmouth on Saturday 6 or Sunday October 7 2007 between 10am and 4pm to take part in the unique arts project.

There will also be a historian on hand to talk about some of the more unique items and to record your memories and stories about the treasures.

"We would like to take samples of hats, textiles, photos, letters, souvenirs, dried flowers, and items of wood, baskets, suitcases, books, toys, dolls and paintings - in fact anything organic,” added Kubisa. “Please leave objects as you find them - dust is good too! It's not about financial value but sentimental value to the owner.”

For more information about the project or what is suitable to bring contact the Arts and Cultural Development Service on 023 92688245 or visit the project website,

More on the venues and organisations we've mentioned:
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