Photography by Inna Allen
St Albans Clock Tower, Hertfordshire
27th September – 1st October 2017
Fragments was an interim exhibition during Spendlove’s artist residency with St Albans Museums. Across two floors of St Albans’ narrow clock tower, Spendlove used the light from the Medieval windows in the tower, and the backdrop of the ticking clock to enrich her works, which explored ideas around fragility, entropy, presence and absence.
On her first encounter with the museum’s collection, Spendlove found herself drawn to damaged fragments. She tells me, “I was particularly interested in broken objects, and how the story is enriched by the brokenness”. The museum collection is one of few contexts in which a broken fragment is treasured, and subjected to scrutiny. “The material life-cycle of objects” always involves some kind of breaking down or degrading (Crisp, 2017), through wear and tear or deliberate destruction. For many manmade objects, this is a process of “trashing and disposal”, in which the complete object is transformed from possession to trash. Archeologists and curators intervene in this process, either reviving broken objects and restoring their original form or preserving the fragment so that the memory of its form and purpose remains.Excerpt from Barbara Brownie’s article for UH Arts in Conversation