Pen Rest 2014
Shrewsbury Museum & Art Gallery
Note: Pen Rest & Thinking Path feature in the Inspired by catalogue produced to accompany the 2014 opening of the redeveloped museum and available by contacting the museum http://www.shrewsburymuseum.org.uk/about-us/artist-commissions/
Pen Rest is on of a series of embedded artist commissions funded by the ACE Grants for the Arts scheme as part of the major Shrewsbury Museum redevelopment project. The commissioning process was designed to explore how contemporary visual practice can enable reinterpretations of the past and reveals the multiple narratives of artefacts held in a major municipal collection.
Pen Rest focuses on Darwin’s experience of environment during his formative years in Shropshire and Wales and brings together video, reconfigured natural history displays and archive photography. In contrast to Thinking Path, that used movement as a metaphor for understanding, Pen Rest explores stillness and focuses attention on the minutiae of the world around us.
The emphasis on positioning in relation to exhibits throughout the museum is at the core of the exhibition, which reflects on personal and collective histories and explores how the museum acts as a catalyst for understanding our immediate, regional and global environments.
The accompanying film Force and Calm records movement and stillness as a process of engagement with significant sites, and explores how video editing and manipulation processes can capture the tension of moving through and remaining still within resonant places. Building on existing methodologies of encounter and measurement Force and Calm embodies the process of looking and investigates the relationship between what we see and what we know of a place.