Wednesday, 28 December 2011

Research Trip: 22nd December 2011

I was lucky to accompany Farrah Al-Dujaili and Miriam Rowe on their first research trip to Oxford on the 22nd December. First stop was the Gloucester Green Antiques Market that takes place every Thursday. We then walked down Broad Street on the way to the Oxford University Museum of Natural History and Pitt Rivers Museum, where we saw the Sheldonian Theatre and the Bodleian Library.

Photographing inside the Natural History Museum

Fantastic view of inside the Natural History Museum.

We later visited The Sheep Shop (mentioned in Alice Through the Looking Glass) and saw many of the other sights that Oxford has to offer. It was really interesting day and I am looking forward to seeing what they make.


Thursday, 22 December 2011

Thoughts on Donning Oxford.

Long past are the days of wearing a city's insignia on your person, and barr the act of wearing a college scarf or team sports kit it is hard to identify a person in relation to place.  

It could be said that it is through the ease of movement afforded to us by modern living that we have come to view ourselves as separate from place and thus to view our identities as singular constructs. Therefor it is now generally understood that to wear a garment or piece of jewellery is an expression of our own personality (or of the self we wish to project) and an assertion of our individuality.

Yet, this exhibition invites us to cast aside any civic pride hesitancy and to 'don' Oxford both figuratively and physically.

Oxford has far greater complexity than the sum of its streets, landmarks and the widely held notions on its culture, and so we are prompted to re-examine our locality, to seek out the overlooked, to find new ways of seeing, and to re-evaluate and re-negotiate our relationships with this city. 

The outcomes of this exhibition may be seen to be memorabilia, mnemonic devices or assertions to belonging, but all (once claimed) will surely rekindle a sense of place whilst simultaneously maintain this sense of self we so strongly uphold.

Finally, it is commonly acknowledged that 'The City' mirrors society, and so there is a certain satisfaction in the knowledge that through the act of capturing and expressing these complexities and then through the act of wearing them, we in turn hold up a mirror to Oxford.

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

Farrah Al-Dujaili: Inspiration

'My initial inspiration has come from reading Lewis Carrol's 'Alice in Wonderland' and 'Through the Looking Glass' in particular the famous 'Painting the Roses Red' moment. It seems made for my work! Next a research trip to Oxford..........'

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Mikaela Lyons: Inspiration

'I visited Oxford University Museum of Natural History and fell in love with their collections of taxidermy and fossils. I took hundreds of photos and used them to create an illustration (please see below) which I have used to inspire my new jewellery collection. To see more visit'

 All images are courtesy of Mikaela Lyons.