Cabinet of Curiosity are textile/costume artist Caroline Collinge & architect Edmond Salter.
They work with paper materials & techniques to make exhibitions, installations & participatory arts activities for commissions with heritage sites, arts organisations, museums & the community.


Monday, 20 September 2010

V & A Two's a Pair

I've just made this pair of illustrated cards for a late night event at the V & A. The design is based upon my paper stencil of a phoenix, which has now sadly fallen apart, so these are the final prints.

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Illumini Event 2010: Through Adversity to the Stars

 Illumini Event

'Secret Subterranean London'  

9th Sept 2010 - 15th September 2010

Open 7 days a week 11am-7pm free.
Shoreditch Town Hall

'Night Flight’ is a poetic interpretation of the Cabinet War Room’s map room made out of paper. During World War II, Bellerophon mounted on a winged horse Pegasus was adopted as the emblem of air bourne forces.
The sound  is from a 1942 BBC recording. Beatrice Harrison, a leading cellist of her generation had the habit of playing her cello in the wooded garden of her cottage in Oxted, Surrey, near London. One evening in 1923 she was joined by a nightingale and was so enchanted by the sound that she persuaded Lord Reith, the director of the BBC, to broadcast the cello-nightingale duet on live radio. Accordingly on May 19, 1924 the first ever live outdoor broadcast was arranged

On May 19, 1942, three years into the Second World War, the BBC was back in the same garden planning to broadcast the nightingales (sans cello). But 197 bombers, Wellingtons and Lancasters, began flying overhead on their way to raids in Mannheim and the engineer realized a live broadcast of this event would break security. The recording went ahead anyway since the lines to the BBC were open and a two-sided record was made, the first side with the departing planes, the second with their return (eleven fewer).

Saturday, 21 August 2010

Stop Motion experiment into folding.

Minnie Weisz Studio animation by Thurit Kremer / Berlin with set design by Caroline Collinge.

This is an animated scale model of the interior of the Minnie Weisz Studio, Kings Cross where I am currently working on building a large scale origami structure and objects using maps, collages and folds.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

A Picture Unfolds.

I'm currently working on a few projects for exhibition. This includes a show in Autumn at Minnie Weisz Studio that will explore the mythology of the London A-Z and map making techniques, using the concept of 'capriccios' and origami folding. At the moment, I'm exploring how to express the body using ideas of metamorphoses that relate to the transient city and architecture.

Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Peter Stigter photograph of paper origami costume, Fashionclash Maastricht

A photograph of my origami costume installation by Peter Stigter. Very fortunate that Fashionclash had such an eminant photographer involved in the exhibition who photographed all participants work.
I was playing around with scale and using stitched paper origami to create a floral design on the skirt piece that I combined with my paper origami dress. I'd like to add more stitched pieces to this particular piece and create a trompe l'oeile affect.

Saturday, 5 June 2010




I've been showing some work in Maastricht at an event called FASHIONCLASH which aims to show work that crosses disciplines related to fashion. The work is being exhibited in a large warehouse on the outskirts of the city and is a really beautiful space. It's been interesting to see the styles of work produced outside of London and it has been an opportunity to connect with other designers across Europe. The one dissapointment is that my name has been mispelt in the catalogue and publicity flyer - not good considering this is meant to be an expo. The spelling seems to be a Dutch translation of my surname: colligne.
I was also prevented from taking photographs of the dinosaur window display (shown above): the manager of the department store thought that I posed a security risk. I've read about photographers being prevented from taking street photography in London, but I hadn't realised that other European cities were being equally intolerant. Since I take inspiration from street scenes for some of my design work this is a worrying trend.
I'll post up photographs of the exhibition in a few days...

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Kings Cross Stories

Blueprint Review May 5, 2010 by: Lucie Hepton
Artist and photographer Minnie Weisz’ most recent exhibition explores London’s Kings Cross, in collaboration with costume and set designer Caroline Collinge. The show is at Minnie Weisz’ studio, which is situated under a Victorian Arch on Pancras Road.
The work focuses on the architecture of Kings Cross, photographing the abandoned and derelict remains of Victorian buildings and in turn revealing stories from its history. The exhibition builds on Weisz’ fascination with the past, a feature of many of her recent works. Including revisiting the now demolished Culross building with an ex-resident to hear his memories. This is the first fine art exhibition for Caroline Collinge, and the first collaboration between the two artists.
Throughout the works on display there are continuous references to bones and teeth, with skeleton-like structures reflecting the carcass of Victorian Kings Cross and the memories within. Collinge explores a range of materials, including paper folding using old maps and pages from books, shaping them into costume, forms and structures using origami techniques as well as a large-scale crinoline bone. Both artists describe their collaboration as a natural meeting of vision and understanding. The derelict areas they explored could have seemed unwelcoming, but the two artists developed and produced a fantasy impression of what might have otherwise become an impersonal tour of abandoned spaces.
Each night throughout the exhibition films will be shown in the window of the Minnie Weisz gallery for the “stray dogs, passersby and streetwalkers” that roam Kings Cross. The opening night reception featured a reading by visionary writer Aidan Andrew Dun, known as the Poet of Kings Cross. He read from Vale Royal (1995), a verse poem in two cycles and a haunting narrative that seems to grasp the core of London, which he claimed took him 23 years of consideration. The poet, who had the appearance of a Rolling Stone type rock star, tapped his foot to the beat of his literature as the audience stood mesmerised with the story. It was the fitting experience for a reflective evening, and the exhibition was an appropriate tribute to the long history and bright future of Kings Cross.
The display was part of the Reveal festival, a ten day series of events and exhibitions in and around the Kings Cross area.

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

RIBA Forgotten Spaces.

Although I studied theatre design, I've rarely worked within theatre and have had better success outside of conventional theatre, using multi-media. My skills are directed towards realising performance scenarios within unexpected places. I enjoy this way of working more than working in a black box. It's exciting to incorporate everyday spaces, their history and explore expressing ideas across different disciplines.
I entered an architecture competition in partnership with an architect a month ago which involved looking at forgotten spaces within London and suggesting innovative solutions. I have just learnt that the project we submitted has been shortlisted for the main prize and will be exhibited at the National Theatre in May and June.
This particular project looked at bringing a forgotten 18th century Orangery back to life. The building sits in the middle of a 1950's council estate in Clapham. These two forms of architecture both exemplify the idealism of their time: the picturesque and modernism. We researched the origins of the Orangery and gardens as a place of entertainment, a theatrical space and a place where food was ornamentally grown.
This informed our proposal for 'Visions for Utopia': a hybrid of performance space and community garden with its roots in the 18th century and its future in the modern urban agriculture movement 'Growing Power'.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The street as theatre

I've had two designs accepted for the Brixton scheme and have two more to finalise. It's interesting to see how detailed the final printed image will be when applied to the shutters.
These two images show my design for a print shop (created from a collage of vintage wooden letterpress) and the final mock-up of a shutter showing a design for an 'international' hairdresser's.
In undertaking this brief I've wanted to create graphical imagery that will transform the street into a form of street theatre, using the shutters as set design. I also like to create images that are timeless. This commision has been a challenge as I am having to tread a line between art and commerce: the designs are not allowed to be seen as an advertisement for the shop, but must reflect the character of the shop. The council and the shop owners select the final image to be printed. But at the same time, there has to be an artistic quality to the images I produce.
I'm looking forward to taking some photographs when the entire series is completed and hope to include people within these to give a sense of scale, context and character.

Friday, 19 February 2010

"Why Do I Estrange Myself From The World?"

I went to see the new Billy Childish exhibition at the ICA this week and accidentally gatecrashed the private view due to getting the dates mixed up for another event connected to the same exhibition. To be honest, I didn't like any of the paintings in the exhibition, but I did like his books, record sleeves, film and music. Mainly it's because I've been spending a lot of time in the Medway area where his work is so deeply rooted and which he constantly references in his songs, writings and paintings. It's ironic that he is viewed as an outsider artist. Apart from not going through the formal art education system, he seems to have been readily accepted by a lot of galleries, people buy his work and the media publicise what he does. The main difference between himself and other artists is that he has always remained true to himself and not been answerable to anyone.
In terms of art work I do like, I've been taking a look at Fornasetti's collages for some inspiration as I have been asked to submit designs for a public art initiative in Brixton. This seems to be the first stage in a large scale project involving placing permanent artwork into the fabric of the street in a functional way, by using existing street signs, the pavement, wall spaces, bus shelters and street lighting. The designs I've been asked to submit will be part of an initiative to put artwork onto shop shutters on Coldharbour Lane. The Brixton scheme follows on from a similar one run in Southwark involving local artists and designers including Anthony Gormley and Zandra Rhodes. I think that Will Self and Maggie Hambling are taking part in the Brixton scheme which, should be interesting. It will be odd to step outside of my door and see my work on the street where I live.

Monday, 8 February 2010

Making as Thinking

I've been attending a lot of talks given by different creative practitioners over the past month. I like to hear about how other people work and connect with people, especially since my practice crosses over between different disciplines.
At the moment I'm in a 'making' mood.
A part of me feels that this is a bit self-indulgent and old fashioned. I'm not making objects specifically to sell. On the rare occurence that I make objects with the thought of creating a salaeble product, such as my origami necklaces made from book pages, I start thinking about exagerating the form, enlarging the scale and pushing the necklaces to an extreme so that they become closer to sculptures.
I don't know many people who do make their own work, apart from crafts people, but I don't consider myself a crafts person, although I do craft objects.
In a talk last week, the ceramisist Helen Carnac expressed how she thinks of herself as a maker not a craft person.
For her making is thinking.
I can identify with that.

Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Goodbye Brixton space

I spent new year moving out of Brixton market where I had a temporary space. It was interesting to hear and see how people were responding to the work I was making, but the noise levels within the market (and the extreme cold) were making it counterproductive for making work. Hopefully I will get another space in Lambeth where I can develop new projects.
I had to deliver a pitch 'Venus in transit' last week for a museumaker commission. This is a project I had been working on in collaboration with a director/writer and sound artist/composer/filmaker. There were nine people on the panel which, was daunting, but being a team of three made the experience easier. It also made me realise how useful the BBC training has been in writing proposal applications and making pitches; the majority of my training at the BBC was centred around this.
At the moment I am waiting to find out whether we were successful. I'm trying to be philosophical about the possible outcome. I think we were pitching an unusual idea that had many strands to it that people would either love or hate. It's also a question of whether people thought we were being too ambitious in our ideas, although everything we suggested was fully realiseable.
It's a difficult thing waiting. I keep reading books or watching films that seem to somehow relate to our pitch. I've been reading about Angela Carter's collective work and came across a Czech film from 1970 called 'Valerie and her week of wonders'. The imagery in this film reminded me of our pitch.