Museum Assignment – 23.09.2014Posted: October 5, 2014
As part of the induction process, we were asked to attend a seminar in the museum (which we were late to and had to sit on the stairs) and after the first few nights of freshers week being spent in the city drinking a few too many vodka shots and dancing (badly) along to cheesy, badly written club tracks until three in the morning, I wasn’t really in the right frame of mind to be sitting on the floor listening to the Dean speak about everything the university has to offer and simultaneously fighting to keep my eyes open. However, despite my complete lack of professionalism and enthusiasm, I sat there and took in as much as I could about the School of Art and Design; about all of the different facilities and options that are available to us during and beyond our time at the university and how we as students should not refer to our course as “taking Graphic Communication.” but rather “becoming a graphic designer.”
After the lecture (a slightly damp picnic in the park and a quick coffee to wake me up) our class were guided into the Cardiff National Museum, split into groups of three and asked to produce three pieces of work per group that represented a certain word. My group were given the word ‘industry’ and were required to create a drawing, photograph and 200 word paragraph, all taken from parts of the museum and art gallery we thought we relevant. Although we shared the responsibility of all three pieces, each person in my group volunteered to do the task they felt they would be most comfortable doing. I offered to do the written piece:
- Evelyn Dunbar – Threshing and Baling, Monmouthshire
Farming industry/hard work
- Paul Emmanuel – Fleece Painting
Farming industry (writing)
- Lionel Walden – Entrance to Cardiff Docks, Evening
- The Cambrian Pottery in 1802 (drawing)
- Claude Shepperson – Tending the Wounded
- Making Guns/Ships
- William Rothenstein – Timber Hauling – Working the land (drawing)
We talked about the meaning of the word industry and collected a series of alternative words to use in order to discover parts of the museum that reflects its meaning. These words are: hard work, manufacture, process, transportation and produce. Some of us associate the word industry with the traditional historical side; coal mines, shipping and farming, the rust and cogs that some would associate with steampunk. The industrial revolution is a prime example of the development of industry. Others would naturally associate the word with the modern world; the business and companies that form today’s economic landscape.
We found a piece by Paul Emmanuel, a series of works incorporating sheep wool, oil paints and a selection of treatments of human hair products. This piece represents the farming industry in the 1900s; Emmanuel’s work was mainly inspired by the different paints that were used to identify the quality of the sheep and to keep track of the number of sheep each farmer owned. The pieces were named after the local farms and the subject was obviously one very close to the heart of the artist. We found this piece particularly interesting because of the variety of colours and textures incorporated and also because despite its simplicity, the work has such an in depth, meaningful and relevant story behind it.