Artefacts and Lost Generations

What is our relationship with artefacts from cultures and lost generations of another time and place? 

 

How can we relate to and experience narratives through the artefact?

How much of its history and context is shaped by the biases and prejudices of those who collected these objects and educated their social class a point-of-view; one formed by conquerors of Nations?

How much do we know about true history of objects seen in our museums that have been possibly stolen, traded and swapped? 

 

Many occurances in the past has seen the stealing and destruction of another culture's cultural and historical wealth, due to not accepting alleged prejudiced treaties, leading to many items being housed in museums abroad, as seen with The Kingdom of Benin (Nigeria)[1] and The Galway Treaty of 1892[2].

 

How often do we critically question the rightful ownership of artefacts and points-of-view serving a particular narrative?[3]

How many of us are aware of the many injustices that happened in the past? Whitewashed due to the nature of slavery and indentured servitude and obscured economic contributions made in the name of Empire.

Of those who sought riches at the expense of the poor, the dispossessed and alleged convicts sent to America and then to Australia?[4]

Artefacts from a Lost Generation explores these relationships with history and how we view 'objects' from an unfamiliar time and those dialogues resulting from our individual and collective sensibilities linked to our ancestral past. 

 

Adam is drawn to how artefacts and collected objects can shift contemporary narratives and how societies choose to view themselves and their relationship to the past, especially when presented with new information highlighting previously unknown histories that shines through the cracks of cultural bias and the influence of non-European art and craft that led to the development of Modernism, in itself personally seen as a form of cultural appropriation - uncredited.

 

How do we make amends to those whose culture was stolen, destroyed, hidden, forgotten or appropriated?

‘‘Official’ historical Art is easy to find, was created and retained by the higher stratum of any particular society, created to show their class in the best light and to reflect society as they saw it... Other items created by the lower classes […] intentionally or by accident [...] either challenge or confirm the truthfulness and accuracy of known accounts.

 

B. Grose, June 2018.

References

[1] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Benin

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benin_Expedition_of_1897

'Most of the Benin bronzes sold at auction were purchased by museums, mainly in Germany. The dispersal of the Benin art to museums around the world catalysed the beginnings of a long and slow European reassessment of the value of West African art. The Benin art was copied and the style integrated into the art of many European artists and thus had a strong influence on the early formation of modernism in Europe'.

<https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okukor> 

[3] BBC News.<https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-cambridgeshire-35762834>

[4] Jordan, Don & Walsh, Michael, 'White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America', (Mainstream Publishing Company Ltd., Edinburgh: 2007)

Further References

Recommended Reading

Solomon Northup, Twelve Years a Slave, (Penquin: New York, 2012)

Don Jordon & Michael Walsh, White Cargo: The Forgotten History of Britain's White Slaves in America, (Mainstream Publishing Ltd.: Edinburgh, 2007)

Hugh Thomas, The Slave Trade: The History of the Atlantic Slave Trade 1440 - 1870, (Picador: New York, 1997)

Graham Hancock, Magician of the Gods, (Coronet: London, 2016)

Grayson Perry, Tomb of the Unknown Craftsman, (The British Museum Press: London, 2011)

Unknown Animal

Unknown Animal

Zinc etching drawing of what appears to be some type of unknown animal appearing in the rock collected from Watchet Beach. Zinc Etching on Fabriano : Bideford Black Mineral and Medium : January 2018

Figures

Figures

Zinc Etching Drawing of what appears to be many figures carved by hand or nature in the found rock from West Beach, Watchet. Zinc Etching on Fabriano : Bideford Black Mineral and Medium : January 2018 AdamGrose

Prometheus

Prometheus

Zinc Etching Drawing of what appears to be many figures seen in a collected rock from Paphos, Cyprus. Retranslated as an etching. Zinc Etching on Fabriano : Bideford Black Mineral and Medium : 2012/ 2018

GPS Glyph

GPS Glyph

Replicates animal style carvings seen in various Paleo cultures circa Ice Age era. Soapstone carving : March 2018

GPS Glyph

GPS Glyph

Replicates animal style carvings seen in various Paleo cultures circa Ice Age era. Soapstone Carving : March 2018

GPS Glyph

GPS Glyph

Replicates animal style carvings seen in various Paleo cultures circa Ice Age era. Soapstone Carving : April/ May 2018

Untitled

Untitled

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Untitled

Untitled

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

IAIS

IAIS

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

IAIS

IAIS

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Artefact

Artefact

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Artefact

Artefact

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

CRACK

CRACK

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

CRACK

CRACK

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

CRACK (Detail)

CRACK (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Untitled Slab

Untitled Slab

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Slab (Detail)

Slab (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership

Membership

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership (Detail)

Membership (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership (Detail)

Membership (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership (Detail)

Membership (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership (Detail)

Membership (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Membership (Detail)

Membership (Detail)

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Raven

Raven

Pressed slab of shredded text on paper with what appears to be an embossed image of a bird, possibly a Raven. Contains amounts of gesso plaster and PVA. Circa: Anthropocene Age

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Shredded Documents, Sandstone Powder, Wallpaper Paste, Gesso Plaster, PVA. July 2018.

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Shredded Documents, Sandstone Powder, Wallpaper Paste, Gesso Plaster, PVA. July 2018.

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Shredded Documents, Sandstone Powder, Wallpaper Paste, Gesso Plaster, PVA. July 2018.

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Indentured Servitude (Indonesia)

Shredded Documents, Sandstone Powder, Wallpaper Paste, Gesso Plaster, PVA. July 2018.

FRAGMENT

FRAGMENT

Jaguar God. WED Clay. Aug 2018.

VENUS

VENUS

Talisman. WED Clay. Aug 2018.

VENUS

VENUS

Talisman. Silver Solder. Aug 2018.

INDENTERED

INDENTERED

Glyph of indentured slavery routes from India to Indonesia to Africa. Soapstone Relief Carving. Aug 2018.

RAVEN

RAVEN

Impressed Raven God in WED Clay. Aug 2018.

JAGUAR GOD

JAGUAR GOD

Possible Talisman or Adornment Piece. WED Clay. Aug 2018.

WISHES YOU HAVE

WISHES YOU HAVE

Shredded slavery, indentured contracts and financial documents, Earth from Quantocks, Willow Ash, Collected Water from the Bristol Channel, Zinc Etching with Willow Ash Ink of a model in negative format, Impressed white cotton netting with lines representing indecipherable text (represents white cotton manufacturing into netting which further explores connotations with wedding dress netting, net curtains and veils). Aug 2018.

WISHES YOU HAVE

WISHES YOU HAVE

Detail.

WISHES YOU HAVE

WISHES YOU HAVE

Detail.

IMPRINT

IMPRINT

Slavery Logs, Indentured Contracts, Financial Logs; Watchet Earth, Willow Ash; Raven Imprint. Aug 2018. [Willow was used as traditional pain relief in Native American Culture and Raven was a symbol of prophecy and carrier of murdered souls]

Raven-God (Muninn)

Raven-God (Muninn)

Shredded and Pulped Slavery Logs, Indentured Contracts, Financial Logs; Watchet Earth, Willow Ash Ink; Linocut Print on Cartridge. Aug 2018.

Brand

Brand

Slavery Logs, Indentured Contracts, Financial Logs; Watchet Earth, Willow Ash; Raven Imprint. Aug 2018.

Huginn

Huginn

Slavery Logs, Indentured Contracts, Financial Logs; Watchet Earth, Willow Ash; Raven Imprint. Aug 2018.

And Then There Were None

And Then There Were None

Pewter and Pewter Dross Mask Castings. Oct 2018.

Idol of Theatre (Shaman)

Idol of Theatre (Shaman)

WED Clay and Pewter/ Pewter Dross Casting. Oct 2018.

Artefact III (Remembrance: 11.11.11)

Artefact III (Remembrance: 11.11.11)

Pewter and Pewter Dross. Miniature Sculpture. Aug 2018.

Idols of Theatre

Idols of Theatre

Pewter and Pewter Dross. Miniature Sculpture. Aug 2018.

Lion God

Lion God

WED Clay, Ochre, Gesso. Aug 2018.

Tablet

Tablet

Tobacco Wallpaper | Pulped Slavery Documents | Quantock Earth & Plaster | 2018

Munnin

Munnin

Pulped Slavery Documents | Quantock Earth & Plaster | 2018

Bob (X-Slave)

Bob (X-Slave)

Monotype on Fabriano | 2019

Boy Slave

Boy Slave

Oil Paint on Repurposed Hardwood | 2019

Mr Guitar Man

Mr Guitar Man

Monotype print on Fabriano | 2019

Farmworker (Child)

Farmworker (Child)

RWA Secret Postcard Print | Monotype Print on Somerset Paper | 2020

Shaman

Shaman

Monotype Print | March 2020

The Unknown Slave

The Unknown Slave

Monotype Print on Watercolour Paper | 2020

Farmworker

Farmworker

Monotype Ghost Print | 2020

Farmworker

Farmworker

Drypoint Etching | Nov 2019

In sea-cold Lyonesse,

When the Sabbath eve shafts down,

On the roofs, walls, belfries
Of the foundered town,

The Nereids pluck their lyres
Where the green translucency beats,
And with motionless eyes at gaze
Make ministrely in the streets.
And the ocean water stirs
In salt-worn casement and porch
Plies the blunt-nosed fish
With fire in his skull for torch.
And the ringing wires resound;
And the unearthly lovely weep,
In lament of the music they make
In the sullen courts of sleep:
Whose marble flowers bloom for aye:
And - lapped by the moon-guiled tide
Mock their carver with heart of stone,
Caged in his stone-ribbed side.

Walter de la Mare

Nigerian Sculpture from Benin | M Shed Bristol.

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Copyright © Adam R. Grose, 1979 - 2021

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Bob (X-Slave)

Monotype on Fabriano | 2019