A group of 5 artists present a range of works at The Museum of Bath at Work from May 26th until the end of June. Created in response to the collection, works include ceramics, print and paint and a short film demonstrating the working side of art practice that lies behind what is seen.
The idea behind the exhibition is not only to celebrate the museum’s extensive assembly of artefacts and information and remember Bath’s working heritage but also to remind one that art involves work and it needn’t be an uncrossable divide between museum and gallery. The artists have picked on different aspects; either responding to the concept of ‘work’, or to items in the museum, or to a specific aspect of the great industrial heritage of Bath’s history.
The works can be found on the top floor of the museum and is an exciting and eclectic mix of styles and mediums. Jan Byrne‘s highly decorative ceramics highlight and acclaim different modes of work – for instance Piece Work and Part-time Work, while Mark Thomas, painter, has focused on Bath’s extensive textile industry and the sense of the production line. Ryszard Sliwka’s paintings address both the role of female labour in the history of Bath and the importance of crafts, local materials and invention in the shaping of the city. Charlotte Moore is presenting hand coloured carborundum prints representing aspects of the museum’s collection, such as the pharmacy and the metal workshop while Anna Kot is remembering Stothert and Pitt and the invention of the level-luffing crane and also presents photographic montage of the many curios bits and pieces clustered across the museum space below. To accompany the works, a short film, made by Eleanor Scott and Robert Spanring will be on show, highlighting the working aspects of making art – routine activities and some more arduous requirements that often go unnoticed but which are an essential part of the artists day.