Crafting a Paper Museum

The architecture of the Bowes Museum has been the starting point for making new work for the  #Untitled 10 2019 commission at the Bowes Centre at the Bowes Museum. The commission is involving ten practitioners from craft, design and arts backgrounds who all follow different processes of making work. Work made during this commission will form the basis of a group exhibition within the galleries at the Bowes Museum. 

The museum is currently hosting a lego exhibition that shows the Bowes Museum building and items from the collection, such as the automaton swan, as large scale models made out of lego bricks. Coincidentally my project also involves making models of the Bowes Museum and some of its' collection using paper.  

I'm experimenting with paper craft techniques, including paper folding, cut outs and collage using the original architectural drawing of the front elevation of the museum to kick start the creative process.Traditional Japanese crafts, such as origami and katagami patterns last explored during a research commission at the Museum of Domestic Design and Architecture are being adopted within this project. A katagami paper stencil of a wave pattern that I used within my MoDA commission has been re-cut and collaged to create a night sky scene of the museum within my storyboards. I'm also re-visiting traditional Japanese origami models to create bird forms that express the rural nature that the museum is set within.
My overall approach to this project is aiming to bring together my craft skills as a theatre designer and craft practitioner to tell the story of the Bowes Museum on a miniature scale using paper to create a series of scenes. The original founders of the museum, John and Joséphine Bowes met in Paris after John Bowes purchased the Théatre des Variétés where Joséphine worked as an actress. The Bowes Museum can be viewed as a stage set for dreams and desires with objects and characters that bring the space to life.