Tag Archives: cabinet of curiosities

Cabinet Of Curiosities

16 Apr


Here’s another of the 30 minute portrait drawings I did at Swansea Museum last Sunday. I have been asking people I know who are Baby Boomers to volunteer to sit for me as I want to build up a large collection of 30 minute portrait drawings over the next year or so in preparation for a large scale art project. It’s great that there has been no shortage of volunteers. It’s not easy to sit for a portrait, in public, with the artist staring intently at you and random people walking past. Swansea Museum is a pretty busy place too. So I’m grateful to my ‘Boomer’ guinea pigs.

I’m doing this as part of the 15 Hundred Lives event at the museum, it’s part exhibition and part a ‘museum experience’. It’s called PROCESS and it’s on until May the 17th so if you’re in town, check it out. Entry is free, there’s an art trail to do for the kids and the museum is a pretty special place. Dylan Thomas described it as the museum that should be in a museum. There’s still a feel of the old ‘Cabinet of Curiosities’ about it.

Sprogs And Curiosities

14 Apr

Ink sketch: a cabinet of curiosities.

It’s been a varied holiday week, saying goodbye at the funeral of a teacher and mentor, Pat Briggs; saying hello to a new little great nephew, as yet unnamed but in the Welsh tradition already nicknamed, Ffredi [which is Welsh for Freddy :)] and two days babysitting small family sprogs. Not a lot of time for art but what the heck, it’s holiday week. Yesterday my sprog-sitting duties took in the latest exhibition by Claire Morgan at Swansea’s Mission Gallery and then off to the old Swansea Museum, forever known to the family children as ‘The Mouse Museum’. While they explored the old Victorian building on the museum’s mouse hunt, I sketched some of the contents of one of the cabinet of curiosities. Dylan Thomas once described it as “the museum that should be in a museum” because it’s so traditional and that’s what I like so much about it. No high tech novelty stuff, just a proper old-fashioned respoitory for curiosities, a relaxed ambience and friendly, slightly eccentric staff [in the nicest possible way].

As I was sketching the collection above, one of the staff wandered past, showing a small group of people around and telling a rather scary story of all the supernatural sightings that have allegedly happened in the very room I was in. I don’t buy into the supernatural at all but I can understand why people think there’s something a bit strange going on at the museum, it’s a very spooky place. There was nothing at all linking the three objects I drew, a South American pot, an African statuette and something labelled only as ‘A Curious Object’ that looked like a cross between a scabbard and a bean pod. I used my Pilot Hi-Techpoint V5 pen size 0.5mm into my A6 Paper Blanks cat-themed sketchbook.


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