#CuriousThings Part I

Thank you to everyone who has taken part in our Mail Art call out and sent in your Curious Things lettercard. We’ll be adding images of the lettercards to the blog between now and 3 April, when the exhibition closes, so there’s still plenty of time to get creative and post your lettercards to us. You can pick up a blank lettercard from the making area at the entrance to the Curious Things exhibition.

Brown Betty teapot

The V & A Museum in London have created a lovely five minute film explaining the design process and heritage behind Ian McIntyre’s re-imagined Brown Betty Teapot, which features in the exhibition Food: Bigger than the Plate, on display at the V & A until Sunday 20 October 2019. McIntyre, who is undertaking a PhD at the Manchester School of Art, used trade catalogues from our collection as part of his research and we acquired his teapot for our New Materials and Processes Collection in 2017.

Knitted Horse Firework

We have recently acquired Knitted Horse Firework by Sam Meech, Lecturer in Graphic Design at Manchester School of Art. The piece is a knitted animation loop, consisting of 4878 rows of 28 stitches and based on Eadweard Muybridge’s Horse in Motion photographs (1878).

Sam Meech is an artist and videosmith working with people, projectors and machine knitting. His work includes large scale knitted data visualisations, public realm animations, community cinema installations and projection design for theatre. He has worked with a range of organisations including the National Film-board of Canada, Open Data Institute, Royal Opera House, Liverpool Biennial, FACT, and Whitworth Art Gallery Manchester. He is also member of Rogue Studios, Manchester, as well as a co-director of Re-Dock, an artist collective that creates opportunities for collaborative design and critical discussion around technology with communities.

We have a copy of Eadweard Muybridge’s Animal locomotion: an electro-photographic investigation of consecutive phases of animal movements, 1887, available to view in our Reading Room.

Knitted Horse Firework by Sam Meech, 2013
272 frames, 13 metres length

Let the Artists In!

‘The Shell Seekers’ by Su Blackwell, 2015. Photography by Yeshen Venema

As part of ‘Let the artists in!’, Manchester Writing School and the Manchester Poetry Library at Manchester Metropolitan University are excited to have awarded three spaces on a programme for poets who would like to—but have never been—a poet-in-residence.

The successful applicants to this highly competitive application process will take part in a short residency at Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections. This includes one day of training with Malika Booker (poet and lecturer at the Manchester Writing School) and Louise Clennell (Education & Outreach Officer at Special Collections)—as well as a fee of £500.

At the end of the residency, the poets will respond to materials from Special Collections through either writing an artistic commission or running a creative writing workshop open to the public. The successful applicants are Lydia Hounat, Roma Havers and Merrie Williams, graduate of the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Please bear with us…

Essential repairs are taking place in Special Collections over the next few weeks and our new exhibition will now open on 24 June.

The Reading Room remains open Monday-Friday, 10am-4pm, and on the following Saturdays from 12noon-4pm: 18 May, 8 and 15 June. Visitors will need to press the Reading Room buzzer to gain entry.

The gallery will re-open on Monday 24 June.

Image: Detail from an advertisement published by William Marples and Sons, Sheffield, 1888, held in the Trade Catalogue Collection at Special Collections.

Anglo-Saxon grave goods at Special Collections

Over the last few weeks our intern, Harry, has been working with a number of 5th and 6th century Anglo-Saxon grave goods for our Object Conservator, Alison Draper. In this post, he shares some of the background to the Bones without Barriers project, and his role in checking and preparing the materials for delivery to the University of Central Lancashire Archaeology department.

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