Writings

'Betwixt and Between'

Reading Museum has occasionally shown art works which relate to its gallery displays but rarely works which incorporate the gallery as an integral part of each piece. John's sculptures have developed from a combination of his long term interests, his assemblage of things that catch his eye & the influence on both of the object-rich spaces in the museum. It has been a pleasure to work with an artist who is intrigued by some of the issues to do with material culture that are central to a museum's work: the collecting, sorting, & arranging of things in particular places to create complex meanings. It has also been fascinating to witness how the addition of John's sculpture has changed the way visitors respond to the museum objects around them. The bird calls & movement of Dawn Chorus have somehow drained the life out of the taxidermy in the Green Space gallery, the edginess of New World Order has made the glass & steel lift shaft beside it appear to plunge through the Victorian building & the dark jollity of Pleasure Beach has made the mouth of the marble bust of George Palmer which it faces seem to purse a little.

Elaine Blake
Exhibitions & Partnerships Curator