Alchemy: Artefacts Reimagined
1 February - 19 April 2020
Wessex Museums invited artist, Ann-Marie James, to explore the collections of its four partner museums, then choose an object from each to inspire a series of new artworks.
The result is Alchemy, an exhibition which uncovers new meanings in our collections - and creatively illuminates the significance of Wessex.
Ann-Marie James spent a year 'reimagining' these artefacts to create the new artworks. All the pieces are in gold and / or white - gold from the Bush Barrow Lozenge and the tale of Bacchus and Midas, white from the chalk that the Amesbury Archer was found in, and the white of the Roman mosaic.
The artefact that inspired the artist's artwork from Poole Museum is a Roman glass head, thought to depict the face of the Roman god of wine, Bacchus. This glass head inspired the 'Midas' series.
Her techniques included drawing, painting, printmaking, and gilding with 24ct gold. For 'Bacchus', she shaved a Roman mosaic design into a cream rug. Ann-Marie James' work is rooted in the exploration and reinterpretation of antiquity and art history, reminding us all that in looking back we can also look forward.
We hope Alchemy inspires you to look at our collections differently, and to reimagine the connections between our past and present.
Generously supported by:
Arts Council England
Karsten Schubert / Ridinghouse