Have you heard the expression ‘lupus in fabula’? It means ‘the wolf in the tale’. Well, at Hove Museum we have ‘museum in fabula’ – we are putting the museum in the tale! What do we mean? We have the Fabula Collective as artists in residence at Hove Museum.
We have invited Fabula Art Collective to use our space for inspiration, new readings and interpretations of the collections. The residency runs for five months and will culminate in the exhibition ‘Many ways to tell a story’ (December 2016 – March 2017).
A museum is a non-profit, permanent institution in the service of society and its development, open to the public, which acquires, conserves, researches, communicates and exhibits the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education, study and enjoyment.
ICOM (International Council of Museums), Vienna, 2007.
Museums are not just about the pure observation of inanimate works of art; museums are interactive and dynamic because they are made of people. The definition of museums is constantly evolving, in line with developments in society. I love this evolution and I like to see that museums are not just static institutions that hold collections or are touristic attractions. Museums are nowadays playing a powerful role with communities and can offer a wide variety of benefits: they are active spaces for connection and meeting, for learning and sharing, for meditation and conversation. They can be a space for growing through reflection and action, observation and dialogue.
And this is exactly the purpose of Hove Museum’s artists in residence programme: make the museum a working space, open to research, questions and answers.
Fabula is a multi-disciplinary, Brighton based collective which formed in 2014. The group originated among students from the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and the MA Arts and Design by Independent Project courses at the University of Brighton. The group is made up of 21 local and international artists coming from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines including illustration, moving image, writing, narrative textiles, art therapy, fine art, and graphic desig,n and are connected by a desire to tell stories through images, objects and text.
Fabula are working on personal research in response to the collections of Hove Museum but also on a collaborative project inspired by fairy stories and the museum’s artworks. Every other Monday starting on 4 July and running until the exhibition opens in December, they are ‘invading’ the galleries and the workshop space.
I was lucky to see them in action last Monday: some of them were sketching in the Toy Gallery and in the Contemporary Craft Gallery and others were focused on developing personal research in the education room.
We are really exited to have them around concentrating on their work but at the same time open to engage with the public who have the opportunity to interact with them. The artists are easy to recognize – they are the ones with the sketchbooks and black t-shirts with a question mark. We encourage our visitors to take advantage of their presence and stop to chat with them. Ask them about their project and find out more about their art.
The exhibition in which the residency will culminate will be a fantastic opportunity to discover the museum from a different perspective, to look at it with the eyes of the artists who have turned the museum collections into magic stories. This will include a rich programme of activities open to a wide range of audiences. For children and families there will be storytelling (including mysterious ghost stories inspired by the museum’s collections) and practical making workshops. Fabula are also planning a series of adult story making workshops and a day seminar on illustration. All workshops will be led by members of the collective themselves, with input from guest specialists. There will be something for everybody’s taste, so keep up to date and follow this work in progress through our website and social networks.
You can also follow the Fabula blog for a weekly update.
You can meet the artists in residence next Monday August, then every second week following. Entry at Hove Museum is free so just come along, discover our collections and exhibitions, and get to know the individual and collective stories held by our museum. Museums are not It, museums are Us.
Martina Bellotto, Hove Museum Assistant