Last week ICCHS PhD researcher Rebecca Farley joined an interdisciplinary group of academics, artists and architects presenting at Edinburgh University’s ‘Moving Mountains’ conference.
‘Moving Mountains – Studies in Place, Society and Cultural Representation’ was organised jointly by the University of Edinburgh Art History department and the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture. Taking place over three days the conference was delivered as an open discussion on the impact of mountains and mountain landscapes on visual art, architecture and wider culture and society. Keynote speakers included Veronica della Dora, Professor of Human Geography at Royal Holloway University of London and Tim Ingold, Professor of Social Anthropology at the University of Aberdeen and Professor Eamonn O’Carragain, from University College, Cork.
Rebecca’s presentation, ‘Why is there a mountain in my metro station?’ was a contribution to the panel looking at the relationships between art, architectural space and the concept of ‘the mountain’. Focusing on one of the case study public artworks that she is investigating as part of her PhD research the paper told the story of three mountain-scape mosaics by the British artist Keith Grant commissioned by Nexus for Gateshead Metro Station in the early 1980s. It explored how this triptych of artworks has been incorporated into the architectural, visual, material and perceptual grain of everyday city space.
Visit the ‘Moving Mountains’ website for further information about the conference including all the presentation abstracts and speaker biographies.
Visit Rebecca’s academia.edu profile for more information about Rebecca and details of her PhD research project.
ICCHS Research Seminar, 1-2pm, Room 1.06, 18 Windsor Terrace
Visiting speaker: Sheila Watson, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester.
Emotions in the history museum
Sheila Watson’s presentation will suggest that museum studies has lagged behind social sciences in the growth of interest in affect and emotions, to the detriment of our understanding of the ways in which visitors engage with objects, narratives and displays. Drawing on case studies Sheila will consider how emotions are culturally regulated and how research can help us develop a more subtle concept of what sorts of emotionally driven learning takes place in museum sites, and how exhibition design facilitates certain types of emotional responses from visitors. This talk will focus specifically on history museums.
Dr Sheila Watson is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. She is a historian with particular interests in narrative and affect in museums, particularly in institutions which deal with archaeology and history. Sheila’s recent research has explored how the museum deals with military history and concepts of myth and popular memory, and how this contributes to contested national histories. Sheila was co-investigator on the recent EuNaMus European National Museums and the European Citizen project, a three year investigation into the ways in which histories are made and consumed in European national museums.
Her recent publications on emotion, nationhood and the history museum include:
Watson, S. ( 2013) ‘Emotions in the history museum ‘in A. Witcomb K. Message (eds) Museum Theory: an expanded field,Oxford, Blackwell.
Knell, S.J. , 2012., Axelsson, B Eilertsen, L. Myrivili, E. Porciani, I. Sawyer, A. and Watson, S. Crossing Borders: Connecting European Identities in Museums and Online, Linkoping University Press, Linkoping.
Watson, S. (2012) ‘Museums and the origins of nations in Poulot, D and Bodenstein, F (eds) Grand Narratives of the Past: Traditions and Revisions in National Museums: 545-565 University of Linköping.
All welcome. No need to book. Please just come along!
POSTER_ICCHS Research Seminar 19 March 2014
The Silesian Museum
Dr Susannah Eckersley and ICCHS Alumnus Dr Michal Koskowski will soon be travelling to Goerlitz in Germany to undertake fieldwork at the Silesian Museum as part of the MeLa Project: European Museums in an Age of Migrations. The museum covers the culture and history of Silesia, a region with a complex past, straddling the border between Germany and Poland. To find out more about the project follow the ICCHS MeLa research team on Twitter @MelaNewcastle
European Museums in an Age of Migrations (MeLa) is a €2.9million project funded by the European Commission. ICCHS’s work within the project involves a historical and contemporary focus on the significance of museum representations of place for expressions of cultural identity in European museums. It addresses questions surrounding place-people(s)-culture relations in contemporary European museums, involving consideration of the ways in which museums construct places and their inhabitants through representational practices.
Front cover: Desert Island
ICCHS PhD student Emma Coffield was recently asked to contribute a book chapter to Desert Island, a publication about the artist Toby Phips Lloyd’s mixed-media installation ‘Desert Island’ (2013) exhibited at Empty Shop, Durham earlier this year.
Emma’s book chapter, ‘What Are You Doing Here? Identity Work and the Figure[s] of the Artist’ unpicks the varying artistic identities suggested by Lloyd throughout the work, from the artist-as-hero to the artist-as-trickster. Arguing that Lloyd tries on, and then rejects or undermines, each of these possible identities, Emma challenges the preconceptions that fix artists in time and space, and calls for new, more meaningful ways to be.
Desert Island is published by The Institute of Advanced Study at Durham University. Alongside Emma, other contributors include: Katherine Welsh (Curator at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art); Simon J James (Professor of Victorian Literature at the Department of English Studies, Durham University); Emma V Miller (Postdoctoral Tutor at Durham University); Mariann Hardey (Durham University Business School); William Viney (Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Medical Humanities, Durham University); and Nick Malyan (Co-founder of Empty Shop CIC).
Desert Island (ISBN 978-0-9561840-2 3).
The Complex Project on transitions to a low carbon economy held a meeting at Laxenberg, near Vienna, hosted by its partners at IIASA (the International Institute of Applied Systems Analysis). In the course of the meeting, Nick Winder (Principal Research Associate at ICCHS and co-ordinator of the COMPLEX project) was interviewed by Uno Svedin (Stockholm University) about the project, the challenges it will address and one of its case-study regions, the Mãler Dahlen in Sweden.
In the interview Nick Winder explains how cultural and natural life-support systems shape our responses to global climate change, and discusses the potential impact of the creation of a low carbon society on our local cultural landscapes.
The project team (left to right): A. Mazel, P. Lewis, P, Warke, M, Giesen, R. Enlander.
The Heritage and Science: Working Together in the CARE of Rock Art project completed its third and final data collection exercise in early September. The team included Dr Aron Mazel, Dr Myra Giesen and Peter Lewis from Newcastle University with Dr Patricia Warke and Dr Rebecca Enlander from Queen’s University Belfast.
The team visited several rock art sites in Donegal, Ireland, to gather further scientific data on the contributing factors to rock art decay. Twenty four panels were analysed in a variety of conditions, some almost perfect but others were very eroded. This was very helpful in providing a variety of data that can be used to analyse the factors affecting rock art condition. Despite very high concentrations of rock art, especially in an area called Doagh Island, all the sites were on private land and not signposted or easily accessible.
Example of rock art in an excellent condition.
As usual soil samples were taken at each site but unfortunately, and not for the first time, the XRF machine broke down so it was impossible to analyse the rock composition. This will now be done at a later date. The findings, along with the written recordings of risk factors at the panels, will help to further shape the tool kit and management guide that aim to help protect rock art.
With the data collected for the Donegal sites, the fieldwork element of the project is now complete. The next phase of the project will focus on continuing with consultations over the toolkit and management guide with a view to disseminating the final products in January 2014.
Find out more about the CARE project and the forthcoming toolkit and management guide visit http://research.ncl.ac.uk/heritagescience/
To join a wider discussion about rock art and rock art sites visit the Rock Art of the UK and Ireland page on Facebook.
Chris Whitehead visited Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna to study museum representations of place, population flows and migration in the three cities. With a focus on how histories inform different European place identities he spent time looking at displays about the Ottoman Empire and its eventual repulsion at the second Siege of Vienna, the shrinkage of Hungary after the Treaty of Triannon, Communist-era Hungary and the 1956 Uprising and the ‘Velvet Divorce’ between the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
European Museums in an Age of Migrations (MeLa) is a €2.9million project funded by the European Commission. ICCHS’s work within the project involves a historical and contemporary focus on the significance of museum representations of place for expressions of cultural identity in European museums. It addresses questions surrounding place-people(s)-culture relations in contemporary European museums, involving consideration of the ways in which museums construct places and their inhabitants through representational practices. You can find out more about the project at http://www.mela-project.eu/