‘ART out of place’ was an exhibition of contemporary art interventions displayed throughout the galleries and public spaces of Norwich Museum and Art gallery in an attempt to encourage a dialogue between contemporary art, the museums and its collections. It encouraged visitors to question the broader institutional role of the museum in society, in particular its practice of categorizing and displaying collections and according aesthetic, historical or scientific value to objects.
I was invited to show ‘Pebbles’ (2002), a collection of pieces of flint and other stones that had been chosen because of their resemblance to Henry Moore sculptures in miniature, that I had then cast into bronze resin. It is well documented that rocks and pebbles were a direct and enduring influence on a number of artists from this era and I saw the project as an attempt to explore Moore’s legacy and to draw some personal and literal conclusions.
The work was installed in the Fitch room of the museum, a giant cabinet of curiosities that houses many diverse and eccentric collections, and although the piece had been exhibited several times in the past this new context was an opportunity to develop the project further. Especially as curator Nick Thornton had carried out detailed research about the time spent by Moore and Hepworth in North Norfolk during the 1920’s and 30’s, and his maps and plans meant that I could collect stones for this version of the project from the very same fields.
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