Me & Mary Eleanor #untitled10 (part 9)

I’m starting to go through all of the pieces I’ve made so far in order to decide what to show alongside the main cyanotype installation. I’m a maker through and through. I get itchy hands if I haven’t made something!

Cyanotype tile of me outside the Bowes Museum.

I’ve made sketchbooks, prints, tiles, photo objects and I’m currently doing layouts for a self published book about the project. It’s easy to get carried away sometimes!

I secured extra funding towards the research from Sunderland Culture development fund, to boost the grant from the Bowes.

I found some fascinating links between the project and the places I grew up. There’s so much more mileage in this project. So many ways to identify with Mary Eleanor Bowes, even with over 200 years betwixt us.

Mini zones and mixed media box. The box is covered in the pages from the confessions of the countess of Strathmore. The box a symbol of being contained and trapped.
Front of the mixed media box. The peacock feather and gold an indication of status.
A sketchbook cyanotype print on one of the pages from the book.

A Polaroid poem about the botany cabinet attached to a cyanotype tile. Added gold leaf.
Take away postcards for the audience to keep.
A symmetrical cyanotype tile combining digital applications with appropriated images of Mary Eleanor Bowes.

These are a few of the pieces I can decide from. Having editing choice is good, but I’ve made far too much! I need to think of new ways to integrate the project in to the Sunderland area, as I think it’s an interesting part of our history as well.

I found out via Twitter that Mary Eleanor Bowes had owned Hylton Castle at one point. She also had the mines up Hetton way. There are so many links between her story and where I live, but I’d never heard of her before the project! I’d like to bring the story and the work home to highlight her part in our heritage.

Cyanotype tile with gold leaf portrait using digital apps and appropriated art.

Do come and have a look at the exhibition. There will be 9 other unique projects responding to the Bowes Museum collection, as well as my own.

The exhibition will run from 11 October 2019 to 28 February 2020.


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