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What an eye opener, this is how archiving the natural world could look like. Not rows of shelves underground or mountain of grey boxes but a creative adaptation of the natural world, in this case focusing on trees. An exciting eclectic mix of video installation, painting, photography, sculpture and so much more. One of the take aways from this showcase was can we really illustrate the vastness and beauty of our natural world, can it really be preserved in folders or in moving image.
Are we inept at truly capturing the natural world on our terms, on human terms?
Photo: AMH Nicholson 2020 - 2-3, Eva Jospin, Foret Palantine 2019-20.
Photo: AMH Nicholson 2020 - 6-7 , Eija-Liisa Ahtilab. 1959, Hämeenlinna, FinlandHorizontal – Vaakasuora, 2011
Photo: AMH Nicholson 2020 - 4-5, Johanna CalleNispero (Árbol), 2016Typed text on vintage paper32.48h x 32.48w in82.50h x 82.50w cm
Photo: AMH Nicholson 2020 - 8-10, Various artists Amongst the trees exhibition, Hayward gallery, 2020.
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Selection of archives 1- 4, Science Museum, London. Photo : AMH Nicholson 2020.
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The art of preservation and the science of locking history in the moment is most effectively portrayed at The Gordon museum of pathology, taken to another level of complexity, depth and vastness. Interestingly for me the criminology section held my fascination the most, a collection from history and for it, but created for justice. Clues held within those items unlocking dark secrets, the archive moves through simply being a piece of evidence for a crime but to a learning tool that benefits people long after the court case has finished. Perhaps more of a social viewpoint on a particular time or place told through the frame of a crime, another way in which archives are simply not just data tell of the inception of the moment.
The Gordon museum of pathology, Criminology artefacts, Sketches : AMH Nicholson, 2020.
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Being human exhibition & Wellcome Collections
The inclusion of various seed bank archives illustrates the importance of their worth. Along with the London freedom seed bank examples, seed specimens from the Svalbard global seed vault included and locally collected versions to emphasis the international effort to protect plant life. In particular the longevity of the food crop with the ever changing climates this stores or living archives are a vital life line.
Seed speciemens 8, Photo : AMH Nicholson, 2020.
Glass artist Johen Holz and Designers Kellenberger-White creating a title piece for the exhibition Being human that taps into the touch we leave that connects us to works long after we are gone. The use of the irregular glass to mimic a natural human like form, to the warm glow given from changing the gas used inside. showing off this subtle but impactful way to collaborate with simple design and craftsmanship.
Being human glass sign 5-7, Photo : AMH Nicholson, 2020.
Archive artists & projects :
Park-ive is striving to push how archives are seen, perception is half of the battle in bringing this art form to the foreground. The Wellcome Collection does this beautifully, from well labelled and designed library to displaying rare but odd items such as a guillotine. The mastery involved in choosing, how you light, the type of collections in which you show is three quarters of the fight to make sure everyone has the opportunity to have a viewpoint, express an opinion and learn.
Archives various The Wellcome collection 1-4, Photo : AMH Nicholson, 2020.
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Great trees of London map
The Photographs of Eric Newby
The Natural history museum
Getty images archive blog
left - Royal Geographical Society, Eric Newby exhibit. Middle - Natural History Museum Foyer, Blue whale skeleton. Right - Tree wrapped around fence, Kensington, London.
Photo : AMH Nicholson, 2020.
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What is PARK-IVE?
Where urban green spaces meet community through the practice of archiving. A public engagement project connecting people to their green local green havens.
Park-Iv Volume one is a year long project engaging with communities, green spaces, parks, galleries and institutions in a effort to collect data and build relationships. Along the way I want to be creating content to test theories, ideas and practices to streamline what Park-ive can become in Volume two.