It has always been my intention to display the Ammonite books together. Ideally this would be in a Museum alongside a natural history collection. I set my sights on Colchester Museum as this was the catalyst to produce the seven volumes. The combination of natural history and the building - a former church - seemed a perfect combination to compliment the project.
All Saints Church was closed in 1956 due to a declining congregation and opened as a Museum in 1958. Originally built in Norman times the church has a long and interesting history. I was struck by the idea of changing attitudes and the controversy that Darwin's Origin of Species (1859) had created only 100 years before. I wanted to bring these two aspects together. Therefore one of the seven' significant moment's I have chosen is the publication of Darwin's book. It's impact is still felt today. Darwin's ideas helped open our minds to thinking about our origins and how life evolved. I have incorporated Darwin's words and the text from Origin into the book. Hidden amongst white pages, the text interweaves with blank pages which represent gaps in our knowledge. The white appearance of the ammonite is further suggestive of the chalk which is a common feature in the north Essex landscape.
I have discussed the proposal with Museum staff who have responded favourably, and are keen to display all seven volumes. We are in the process of discussing the finer details. Ideally the books will be displayed during the Essex Book Festival in March 2016. This is an exciting opportunity to work collaboratively between various parties. I will also be discussing the project with the director of the Essex Book Festival.
I am also part of Bookscapes Collective.
Bookscapes is a group of six artists that have developed a group practice specialising in site specific interventions and exhibitions.