Object of the Month February 2018

patchwork vaseCeramic Patchwork – Zoë Hillyard

This month’s object is taking a different edge, while the last few Objects of the Month have focused on our Social History Gallery I thought it was high time that the Art Gallery got a look in!  The current exhibition is 'Made in the Middle' which displays contemporary craft from the Midlands. As usual there’s a whole range of different types of artwork on display and choosing a piece for Object of the Month was a challenge but eventually I decided on Ceramic Patchwork by Zoë Hillyard. It was a natural choice taking into consideration previous exhibitions such as the Units of Possibility looking  at re-knitting. Zoë finds beauty in the unique qualities and the mending of objects that have had previous lives. Her technique of celebrating the imperfection in the piece reveals a ceramic ‘presence’ but with a new tactile quality. This method of celebrating the imperfections reminds me of Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold, but unlike the items repaired with Kintsugi Zoë’s work is tactile which adds a whole new dimension to a ceramic piece.

Zoë’s work is inspired by cultural exchange and influenced by ethical concerns, particularly voluntary work in Mongolia and this new work continues her interest in the livelihoods and resilience of remote cultures. Zoë wanted to engage with communities living in temporary structures and visited Nepal to explore how the materials were used and repurposed for a new purpose in the aftermath of the 2015 earthquakes.

Each piece in the exhibition has a story behind it and Zoë’s work is her first creative response. I wonder if you would try something similar? Pop along and have a look yourselves and see if you’re inspired to create your own pieces. Need a little help? Not to worry because alongside this exhibition we’re running some Adult Workshops on a range of things! Do check them out and book on the website (http://www.ragm.co.uk/ragm/homepage/82/talksworkshops),  if there’s any problems give the Visitor Centre a ring on 01788 533217 who’ll be happy to help you.

Hermione Noyce 31 January 2018

Object of the Month January 2018

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Object of the Month 2017

A portrait of Admiral Keppel currently on display in Cabinet of Curiosities

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Can we keep you well?

The Rugby Art Gallery and Museum Community

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Farah's Art Gallery and Museum

By one of RAGM's supervisors

image of tool trolley

Tell us about your job
I love it! There’s something different every day. Opening and closing the building, checking everything’s running smoothly, toilets are working, tweaking the air conditioning, signing contractors in and out, hanging and taking down exhibitions, setting up schools workshops. We’re on a rota for emergency call-outs – I’ve been called out to floods in the boiler room, and when a poster fell down and triggered the sensor. It’s a great team, and people jump in to help when you need it.

Your favourite painting from the Rugby Collection?
Man with his Shadow by John Davies.
This is painting reminds me that we are never really alone; we always have our shadow for company. It makes me think of this quote from Imam Ali (a, s):
This world is like a shadow. If you chase it, it will run from you, and if you run from it, it will chase you.

The job of an art gallery/museum is…
To provide service to the public, to make unexpected connections and to contribute to wellbeing. Somewhere you can look at something beautiful, a peaceful place.

I keep…    At home, what’s the object you’ve kept for longest
A little summer dress and white jumper, and the babygro my baby wore when she came out of hospital. (They’re 28 and 24 now)

In our ‘Imaginary Collection’…    If we were making an ‘imaginary collection’ of important things we could NEVER put in RAGM, (eg your favourite tree, a memory, the smell of rain, something you believe in) what would you put in? And why?
I’d love to capture the feeling of summer holidays. The sun on your face, the feeling of relaxation. The different foods you try if you go abroad, all the different smells & sounds you encounter on your journey.

I remember in Rugby:
I grew up here playing in the streets. I miss the indoor market. The jeans stall was the cheapest in town. The smell of denim…

Your turn to ask the people of Rugby a question:
When was the last time you came up and visited us at RAGM? It’s cool in hot weather, warm in the winter!


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