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.


Thursday, 27 December 2012


We are designing a new website for 2013.
The original design for the cabinet of curiosity website and logo featured work from our first commission, The Yellow Wallpaper: a performance installation based upon the 19th Century novella by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. The book is written in a diary format and details the psychological landscape of a female narrator who has been confined to a domestic interior. Her diary entries can either be read as female emancipation or evidence of psychological breakdown.
The insect women were designed as a wallpaper print within a live performance piece after reading Foucault's 'Madness and Civilisation'. Foucault wrote about madness being pictorally conveyed in the Midle age through a hybrid of  human body and animal.
The inesct women illustrations were originally part of a wallpaper design for the live piece that also fitted within our concept of a website as a cabinet of curiosity: an art object in itself where oddities were collected and a wider design and art expression would be sought.
Since our practice has now moved on and has become more digital we decided it was time for a change of site design that reflected this.

Wednesday, 28 November 2012


Caroline's illustration work has won a competition run by IdeasTap to showcase visual work at BOXPARK Shoreditch during December.
The brief involved submitting a creative, innovative design incorporating an element or interpretation of the theme of Christmas that was family friendly as it will be viewed by the public.
The collage is of Christ Church, Spitalfields (1714-1729) designed by the architect Hawksmoor being 'wrapped' by a series of fantastical hot air balloons of the era.
The nine winning designs will be printed on vinyl-finish stickers 60” high by 40”wide to withstand the outdoor elements. These will be installed for the launch on Thursday 6 December.

Tuesday, 23 October 2012


 We've spent the last few months working on a commission for Northampton Global Footprint, using art and design to highlight the craft of shoe making in Northamptonshire. Our initial research found that there had been a migration of shoe making overseas to countries such as China and India, but that there is currently a resurgence in the provenance of crafted industries, such as shoe making industry in Northampton.
Our paper shoes use a pattern based on the classic Oxford brogue which is one of the iconic shoes that Northamptonshire is known for. The sole of the shoe features a cut out Victorian map of Northampton, showing where shoe industries were historically based. The body of the shoes also uses a printed map of the county of Northamptonshire. The shoes were all hand made from paper material  that gave delicacy to our concept, as well as expressing the process of pattern making for shoes within the final work.
The installation is on display at the Northampton Shoe Lounge until the end of this year.

Friday, 24 August 2012


Caroline has just finished work on costume designs for two short Philip Glass operas 'The Sound of a Voice' and the 'Hotel of Dreams' directed by Andrea Ferran which was programmed for The Grimeborn Festival at the Arcola Tent 2012.
Heres are some costume design drawings for the brothel owner in the Hotel of Dreams and production photos for Sound of a Voice (photos by Alastair Muir).

The Sound of a Voice by David Henry Hwang and Philip Glass explores how intimacy is achieved between people who have lived in seclusion.
In the first part, an aging Japanese warrior arrives at the home of a mysterious woman who lives like a hermit deep in the woods. Has he come as her suitor, or her assassin? Does she intend to love him, or to imprison him forever, like the flowers she cultivates so assiduously? The battles of love become a deadly contest in this tale, blurring the distinctions between hero and coward, between victor and vanquished.
In the second part, an elderly Japanese writer visits a mysterious brothel, which caters to men near the end of their lives by providing them with a means to relive their youth. The writer's contempt for the house gives way first to acceptance, then to regular visits. He finds his dreams and fantasies exposed before the brothel's elderly Madame, and embarks with her on an ethereal journey beyond sex and love.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


An item of beauty, curiosity and intrigue, ‘Band Stand’ is inspired by the early history of the brass band movement during the Victorian era. It explores the connections between the development of the railway industry born in the North East of England and the parallel development of brass bands.

Cabinet of Curiosity have used a variety of paper craft techniques on an architectural scale, to draw on the exotic design of band stands and brass band uniforms that were heavily influenced by the Eastern cultures and Orientalism.

6-22 July Shildon Locomotion Museum, County Durham.

Further details:  http://www.brassfestival.co.uk/whats-on/cabinet-of-curiosity-present-039-band-stand-039.37.html  

Wednesday, 16 May 2012


We have received a commission to realise ambitious new shoe prototypes for an installation piece 'Footfall' which is informed by the stories, materials, technology/engineering and buildings of Northamptonshire’s shoe and boot industry, both past and present, to celebrate the London 2012 Games and mark its moment in UK history.

We will be  documenting our research and design process, producing appropriate concept drawings, photographs, digital film and material samples for exhibition and a presentation talk to local UoN students alongside the final installation which will be exhibited at Northampton Museum and Art Gallery’s new ‘Shoe Lounge’ and at the University of Northampton. 

Wednesday, 21 March 2012


 I've just taken part in a collodion workshop at Minnie Weisz Studio led by photographer John Brewer. Collodion wet plate photography was originated in the Victorian era with images printed onto glass - these are the negatives that can then be printed. After the glass plates are varnished they can last for 150 years and the end image is very painterly.
The photographs show some of the process, props and cameras used within the studio set-up. I still have to master the technicalities of this process but this workshop has proved to be very addictive.

Sunday, 22 January 2012


I've just been selected for a commission with Durham Brass Festival to work with an architect to create a costume installation made from paper combining the costumes of the brass band movement within an architectural structure.
Documentation on brass bands, their costumes, textiles and the bandstand doesn't emphasise how highly decorative the designs were in the Victorian era. The bandstands were very colourful and highly ornate many referenced Japonism within their design. I can only guess that the uniforms mirrored this design, but hopefully I will find out more about this.The old black and white photos don't fully convey the colour scheme and craftmanship which went into making the uniforms. This must have been considerable since the majority of  a working man's wages was spent on the uniform.
It's also been interesting to discover that there were all-female brass bands. Their uniform and performance are closer to circus performance whilst male uniforms and bands are closer to the military.
Below is a previous commission from the Brass festival: Bill Morrison's 'The Miners Hymnn'.