Untitled Document

MEETING PLACE - Contemporary Art and the Museum Collection

Date: 10 September - 20 October 2007


MEETING PLACE signifies the place where contemporary art intertwines with the museum collection. The motivation behind the exhibition is to provide a platform for the 'meeting' of two art institutions in Bournemouth: the Arts Institute at Bournemouth, in conjunction with the gallery’s text+work programme, and the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum. The exhibition is curated by Stephanie James and Jackie Sarafopoulos.

MEETING PLACE invited artists and designers to create artwork in response to the unique and varied collections in the Russell-Cotes Museum and to exhibit the work for a period of four months. The artworks take any form: art, design and/or media; they are the realisations of ideas developed through research in the collection and dialogue with the museum staff. The exhibition is of particular significance because the artists are responding to the uniqueness of the museum’s fabric and collections, both individually, and collectively, by using new media.

The purpose of the exhibition is to commune with the artefacts, the spaces, the cabinets and other furniture, and to respond to actual and imaginary events, both personal and private, historical and recent. The resulting artwork creates a new perspective on the Russell-Cotes by framing it in the realm of the contemporary. The exhibition heralds the beginning of a new chapter for the Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum to engage and extend new audiences and to nurture fresh new talent.

There are three existing models on which the project is based; Time Machine: Ancient Egypt and Contemporary Art (1994) at the British Museum; Retrace Your Steps: Remember Tomorrow (2001) at the Soane Museum; and Give and Take (2001) at the Victoria and Albert Museum and at the Serpentine Galleries.

Today’s museum curators are often called collection and heritage managers. They are constantly striving to develop new ways of bringing to life the cultural heritage represented within the museum by using performance, music, story-telling, workshops, and contemporary art.

Many of our major museums have invited in contemporary artists to respond to their collections. Time Machine in the Egyptian galleries at the British Museum in 1994 was one of the first times a museum engaged in a collaboration of that scale. The exhibition set out to change the notion that the British Museum and its ancient Egyptian artefacts are stagnant remnants of the past by engaging contemporary artists to place work alongside and in amongst the artefacts.

Artists/Writers: Liam Birtles, Roy Brown, Les Buckingham, Eric Butcher, Tim Edgar, Christian Edwardes, David Evans and Yuya Nitta, Julia Flatman, Simón Granell, Mike Griffiths, Elpida Hadzi-Vasileva, Tom Hall, Anne-Marie Howat, Jim Hunter, Stephanie James, Julie Marsh, Mark Orton, Lisa Richardson, Jackie Sarafopoulos, Dominic Shepherd, Debra Swann, Peter Symons, Jared Wood.

Exhibition and publication supported by: Violet McClean, Gallery Officer, text+work, the gallery, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Josepha Sanna, Research Assistant – text+work, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth

Events programme supported by: Jackie Sarafopoulos, Exhibitions Curator + Rachel McArdle, Learning Development Officer, Russell - Cotes Art Gallery & Museum Stephanie James, MA Course Leader, the Arts Institute at Bournemouth and Exhibitions Curator for MEETING PLACE. Violet McClean + Josepha Sanna, text+work, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth

Exhibition/project supported by: text+work, The Arts Institute at Bournemouth - Research Committee; Russell-Cotes Art Gallery & Museum, Bournemouth Borough Council; Arts Council England; and Renaissance in the Regions - SOUTH WEST, Museums Libraries & Archives Council (MLA)- SOUTH WEST.