ESSAY FOR EXHIBITION, ART + WORK
‘For when we are interested in the beauty of a thing, the oftener we can see it the better; but when we are interested only by the story of a thing, we get tired of hearing the same tale told over and over again, and stopping always at the same point – we want a new story presently, a newer and better one – and the picture of the day – and novel of the day, become as ephemeral as the coiffure or the bonnet of the day. Now this spirit is wholly adverse to the existence of any lovely art. If you mean to throw it aside tomorrow, you can never have it today.’
John Ruskin, from the lecture ‘On the Condition of Modern Art’, 1867.
The museum of Bath at Work celebrates production and material processes that might be forgotten or ignored in other visions of the city.
All three (artists) allude to how the meaning of objects in part depends on a sense of time.
Lucinda Burgess celebrates the idea of repetition, and raises the possibility of timelessness in the stillness of her work. Yet we are also conscious of change and decay. A polished surface only draws attention to rust, and the realisation that over time, even the most dense and weighty of metals may become corrupted if left unattended. We apprehend a moment of balance, arrested at the point in which we apprehend it.
Professor Michael Tooby, independent curator and Professor at Bath School of Art and Design.