Photography by Richard Davies
St Albans Museum + Gallery, Hertfordshire
8th June – 8th July 2018
Accumulate brought together the work of Katy Gillam-Hull, Lyndall Phelps and Abi Spendlove, artists in residence at St Albans Museums from 2015 to 2018. During the residency the artists independently researched and responded to aspects of the Museums collections.
Spendlove’s research focused on broken fragments of stained glass.
Spendlove is conscious of the dust, bits falling on the floor as she inspects and handles the oxidising, laminating bits of glass, now both opaque and iridescent as the product of time. She brings this exquisite awareness to her drawings, sculptural Perspex and a display of the museum’s glass. The ironic awareness that display causes damage but also preservation is there in the name of the artwork, Fragments, and in the framed white on white work of fragment silhouettes cut from archival mount board.
Looking through the contents of archival boxes, peering carefully and with reverence at the ancient glass shards once part of St Albans Abbey, Spendlove herself was adding to their destruction. Loss, absence, decay, preservation, knowledge, what gets passed on, what is hidden, are questions integral to Spendlove’s work, and to the work of the museum.Excerpt from Dr Alana Jelinek’s essay Accumulate