Artist's Statement: Liz de Pauley on Taking a Closer Look – Finding Beauty in Museum Objects
“Last year I was given the opportunity to make a collection of paintings inspired by Horsham Museum. The museum is crammed full of a fascinating variety of objects, and with so much to choose from, I decided to concentrate on useful objects, things that were designed to function rather than just to look good.
© Liz de Pauley
These include agricultural machinery and the barn in which they are kept, kitchen equipment, a beehive and some spanners.
When I started this project I looked through the kitchen equipment stored in the museum’s cramped and cluttered attic – each item kept in a specially made hessian bag.
It was here I found the Kenwood mixer and the pressure cookers. Being able to hold these things, which were in one sense just old stuff from someone’s kitchen, but were also museum artefacts, made me look at them in a different light and appreciate their intrinsic beauty, and also think about the people who had designed, made and used them.
One of the best things about this project was when I worked in the museum. Visitors popped into the Hurst Room and would ask me what I was doing; some would be interested in the process of making a picture, others were more interested in the objects and their history.
For me, the best thing about making these paintings is that it encouraged me to look really closely, to see things many visitors to the museum probably miss, like the wording on the Dover Egg Beater, the sweet little bird engraved on the Longcase Clock’s face, and the wooden paddles you can glimpse inside the threshing machine.
I hope the pictures will encourage visitors to the museum to take a closer look as well."
- Taking a Closer Look – Finding Beauty in Museum Objects is at the Horsham Museum until August 16 2014.
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