Category Archives: The Secret Life of Objects

Bankfield Show





These are taken from the current Degrees Of Vision Show at Bankfield Museum, Halifax. This time, “The Secret Life Of Objects”, showcases the residency with a display cabinets where a variety of collected objects that children engaged with during the residency are arranged with photographs taken by of their children’s arrangements during the project. The film also plays alongside the display case.

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Viewing the film at school

Earlier this week I took the film into school so that any children who wanted to look at the film were able to. We made a little dark room using blackout material to be our cinema. It was very intimate, only four at a time could squeeze in, but I really liked this as it meant there could be a bit of chat as the film was showing, but without it getting too distracting. The small dark space combined with light being projected through the small projector was exciting, and there was a lot of experimenting with the beam of light in terms of creating shadows.

I was surprised that no children wanted to leave before the end, some watched it a few times. I thought that it would not hold their interest as there is little narrative and the action is quiet, with most of the film close-up of the objects themselves. The responses I get were all very direct, often in the form of questions: Is that your hands?; Did you draw that white stuff on the ground?; Why are you hotting up all the things?;Did you put the record player on so you could pretend it was the birds that were tweeting? These questions were at the heart of the decisions that I made when making the film. I was surprised as I think I expected the children to be more confounded by a film that was so different to ones they were used to.

They also made connections with different things, for instance talking about bats, because of the dark room, and also about watching scarey films. When the candles started to burn low a few groups started to blow at the screen, Ellis commented on this “they can’t really blow them out they are on the computer.
Some children enjoyed pointing out familiar objects, or listing the objects they liked most. I wondered if part of the enjoyment was because they were familiar objects
When I explained that I lit the candles to to make the objects bright, Ashton asked “to make them alive?” and I felt very pleased that he seemed completely in tune with my intentions.

Dean Clough Gallery

As part of the Degrees of Vision Link Show at Dean Clough I have a curious cabinet that showcases the Secret Life of Objects residency. It runs until 18th July.

My Film

The Secret Life Of Objects

The Secret Life Of Objects: a film of the installation


The Secret Life Of Objects

This installation is a response to my practice-led residency in the Early Years Unit at Castle Hill School, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Manchester Metropolitan University. I observed and documented children as collectors in their own right, as well as presenting them with objects from my own collection. Reflecting on the different ways that my objects were brought to life in the hands of children, I have also tried to inject new life into the objects once again.



Film clips of exhibition residency and Installation


This is where I took up residence in the adjoining studio space to the installation: The Secret Life Of Objects. I wanted to use this studio in order to visibly (re)collect the residency at Castle Hill School. I sorted through photographs, and using the walls, sketch books, and talking to people so think through the emerging ideas that have been developing throughout the residency. I also wrote down people’s comments as they looked at both the installation as well as the collected materials from the residency.

The Secret Life Of Objects: an Installation

I have been too busy for a long time to add entries to the blog. For the last month I have been getting the “Secret Life Of Objects” installation together. I decided to hold it as part of the “Degrees of Vision” final show for Leeds Met. BA in visual studies from which I am also graduating. I meant to blog DURING the show when I was in residence alongside the installation, but in the end there was such a steady trickle of people coming into see the exhibition that there was too much talking and discussing to do. So for those of you who didn’t see the show here are a few photos to give you a flavour. And I have just put together a showcase of the installation in the form a cabinet of curiosities as part of the grand tour of the “Degree’s of Vision” show (see the website) at Dean Clough Art Gallery in Halifax. This open on Saturday 19th June and runs for a month. Thank-you to all the people who talked to me and told me about objects in their lives and things they have collected. You have given me a lot to think about. I will think about how to share the comments on the blog.