Curiosity cabinet done. Creating the objects and atmosphere was meant to place my research in its historical context and illustrate my research. It seems however to have done more than this, it became a way to live the ins and outs of my research, making me interrogate further a culture’s graphic style and its influences, opening new path for my research and understand the process and changes further. Now time for the Viva presentation…
Putting up my curiosity cabinet in my space made me question whether my research ideas were put across clearly for the public to read and whether I’m the only one that can make clear sense of the meaning behind each and every objects because I’m aware of the context it’s being build in . My initial thought process was to give away as little as possible as there’s always an element of surprise and confusion in curiosity cabinets where the visitor selects from everything what he finds interesting. I realised that might actually take off from my research, that having more information might actually make then the visitor question and challenge objects that I’ve presented. I decided to design a “map user’s guide” for anyone who wanted to look at my work further. I chose the map format as it seems apropriate for the curiosity cabinet, and invites the visitor as it’s more interactive as it follows the way you interacts and relates to the way you search through a cabinet. Map represents the poles that has driven me through creating objects as they were vital for research and without them being showcased in exhibition, objects may lose some of their meanings.
Other side is the introduction on Folk Art and my research to put visitor into my context, my starting point for research as definition of Folk Art may be blury and introduces key ideas and aspects of it that will help understand the curiosity cabinet’s artefacts.
As soon as the cabinets were put up on my space, a major issue arose. All the walls around my space are white, which means my cabinets drown amongst them and look washed out. Besides some of my frames for my feature wall is white therefore their content looks wash down too. With quick research on colour palettes in museums and curiosity cabinets to make sure I didn’t turn my space that looked like the inside of someones house, the wall is now painted in ambiguous turqoise blue to make the cabinets, its colours and its content jump out the wall. Beside it goes with my research on scale, I have small elements to draw people inside the cabinet, and the blue and its feature wall makes people come closer.
Another matter is as it’s a Curiosity Cabinet, visitors have to interact with it, opening draws and looking for clues. An objects needs to encourage this type of behaviour and immerse visitors in atmosphere. Besides, my space is in a sort of alley which means closing it off is key as it needs to make people stop and look and absorb this fictional world. The object trying to unify my space together is an old colourful rug defines my curiosity cabinet and hopefully draws people in.
Evolution of Monasia through time
More and more objects are being added to cabinet always bearing in mind the research and Cabinet Curiosity elements. Each objects are inspired by the key notions I have explored, sometimes intertwined to show how they relate to one and another. Some labels have been created to be explained but as they hide so much meaning to them I’m starting wonder another form of explanation should exist to understand the evolution of Folk Art in Monasia and explain how the elements affect one and another. Something I need to think about….
In the process of making my Cabinet. Been creating and gathering many objects that gives clues on my research. I find though that it’s not the only thing I have to focus, it’s also all about creating the curiosity cabinet atmosphere, therefore the lay out has to be in a very specific way. The more I dive into this project, the more I realise a sense of scale is key for the curiosity Cabinet. Having different scales is a way to keep the visitor looking, big scale objects to draw them in the space, smaller sized objects to make them dive in and properly look inside of the cabinet. I therefore had to think not only creating objects for my research but also some to enhance the cabinet feeling. I’ve also been very careful at the labelling. Research on curiosity cabinets has showed me that their popularity and purpose seem to be in two waves. During the Renaissance, the initial wave, where it was to showcase, whether in a good or bad away; artefacts mixed together out of context, second wave being during the twentieth century where antropologists tried to put into context the artefacts as a way to have a better understanding of some cultures. With that in mind and with observation made in the River Pitt museum, I will try and preserve and showcase those phenomenon as a way to place my research within its context. As a result, I have created two types of labelling, one looking old (by using specific typography and coffee satined labels) and more recent (using print outs).
After sourcing out cabinets, next step being creating and finding objects to fill the cabinet. To use as inspiration, I use my research and the background story of the Island as a guideline. It is vital that each artefact are clues to unravel key notions that influences Folk Art and shows how they relate to one and another. There are few guidelines that I must follow to ensure credibility to the cabinet and persuade or make people question on its existence by making sure that the artefacts create an atmosphere and have been collected across different times. It’s also a way to show progression within the culture and demonstrate how factors influences visual style. Similar objects are spread out through the cabinet but their style vary according to which notions or event has inspired them, showing evolution in the style. Some key aspects within Folk Art, such as its unique graphic style is strongly present throughout the Cabinet. As it’s really easy to lose your way within the project, again creating vague diagram of what the objects actually mean for this research, helps to not lose sight of my research and drown in this new culture.