When I first heard about the Re-Take/Re-Invent project I went online to have a look at the National Museum of Wales’s Collection. A date had been set for a visit to the museum on Dec 12th but as it has such a big collection I decided to have a good look through at the works that might not have been on view on that day.
I do remember going to the opening of the new gallery in the National Museum in 2011 and being particularly excited by the work of Richard Long –‘Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle’ that was commissioned for this inaugural show.
However, I decided to keep an open mind about my choice of work at this initial stage and identified the following to focus on, in particular during my visit.
Andrej Jackowski –‘Standing Train’
David Nash-‘Table with Cubes’
Rodin-‘Illusions Fallen to Earth’ and ‘The Earth and the Moon’
All these works can be viewed on the National Museum of Wales website.
I enjoyed researching the above works, which are all in my working journal, and realized there were a number of concepts I could follow. I decided at this point to e mail Bryony Dawkes the Partnership Projects Curator at the museum and found out that, apart from the Rodin works I would have to arrange with her to view the Huws and the Jackowski works as they were in storage. Both the Nash and the Long works were also in storage but ‘off site’ so that would be difficult within the time limit. I settled for the above two works and arranged to view these the day prior to the group visit as I felt that I needed more than one day.
Met with Bryony Dawkes at the NMW in Cardiff who had kindly brought both the Jackowski work and Bethan Huws ‘Boats’ out of storage and installed the latter work within the store room . I was very grateful to her for doing this and enjoyed looking at them both, in particular Bethan Huws’ work, which involved an intricate installation process.
For the remainder of the day I was able to, not only view all of the Rodin pieces, which were so impressive, but allow myself to wander through all the galleries responding to the vast collection.
Met up with the other members of staff who had travelled down from N.Wales and spent an excellent day, not only discussing the project but having the opportunity to view the Contemporary Art galleries that were, at that point, closed to the public.
I was particularly drawn to Max Ernst’s –‘Summer Forest’ but found that I didn’t get the same response from looking at the paintings as I did from walking amongst the Sculpture in the galleries. The physicality of these works excited me.
There was a lot to absorb and I needed time to reflect. I took a number of photographs and notes of my experience and decided to let it all sift and settle.
The one constant work that stayed with me above all else was the Richard Long –‘Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle ’which although I wasn’t able to view this time around I was supplied with a couple of excellent images of the work by Bryony Dawkes .I was also able to talk to her about the installation process that is involved in such a work.
I must admit that I felt a bit guilty that Bryony had gone to lengths to get the two requested works out of storage for me and I might not use them. However, there were a number of ideas that came from both and which I feel, I will return to at some point.
Working Process Begins
My decision has been made. There are so many ideas behind the Richard Long’s work- ‘Blaenau Ffestiniog Circle ‘that excite me and which I am curious to take further.
...............continued on Marged Pendrell page