Exhibited March 2012 to March 2013
Family Tree HD Video, 16 mins 36 seconds (continuos loop)
Glimpses of lives rooted in the same space, branched across time.
JW Brunskill created over 17,000 glass-plate portraits of residents of the Windermere region between 1860 and 1900.
Family Tree interweaves these portraits with micro-environments within the same space and contemporary perspectives by local residents on their communal and collective histories.
Commissioned for the exhibition Sublime Transactions,
Contemporary responses to the Armitt Collection
The Armitt Museum and Library Centenary Exhibition Open 31st March 2012 until 22nd March 2013
Who are we, if not a combination of experiences, information, books we have read, things imagined? Each life is an encyclopaedia; a library, an inventory of objects, a series of styles, and everything can be constantly reshuffled and reordered in every conceivable way. (Italo Calvino, Six Memos for the Next Millennium)
Sublime Transactions, the work of 15 artists, seeks to take us back to the roots of the museum by creating new works, inspired by their chosen artefacts from the Armitt collection. It may perhaps be seen as a process of reconnecting with the objects which lie within the strange organized disorder of the museum cabinet. Their diverse and often surprising responses are shown alongside a selection of work drawn from the museums permanent collection.
Our purpose as a museum is not only to articulate the heritage of the area, to preserve memory in the same way in which memory itself functions as a museum, but to reveal interconnections and create a dialogue- a unifying fugue. We hope that this exhibition may offer those new insights and fresh connections. Writing in 1930 Georges Bataille described the concept of the museum as the colossal mirror in which man, finally contemplating himself from all sides, finds himself literally an object of wonder. We sincerely hope that Mary Louisa Armitt and all those who have worked so tirelessly throughout the first century of our existence for reasons more like love than purpose, would approve.
Hannah Rae Alton, Sir Peter Blake, Chris Paul Daniels, John Ellis, Paul Farley, Karoline Hjorth, Derek Horton, Riitta Ikonen, Russell Mills, Kate Morrell, Eileen Ramsay, Carole Romaya, David Toop, Ian Walton, Jon Wozencroft
Screen grabs from Family Tree below: