Pippa Nissen and Camberwell College of Arts
Pippa Nissen, Nissen Richards Studio Limited
Sigune Hamann, Camberwell College of Arts
Perception and Interpretation: Narrative in space New models of museums presentation
Initiating with the re-discovery of the Camberwell Collection, a collection of good design long forgotten in the art colleges basement, the Perception and Interpretation residency saw Pippa Nissen work alongside Sigune Hamann and her BA Graphic Design students. Beginning with a lecture to academic staff and students of Camberwell the project sought to use the collection as material for experimenting with exhibition design methodologies.
In a series of weekly meetings Nissen met with students conducting workshops, charrettes, installations and practical exercises. Students interacted with the collections objects via touching, drawing, filming, projecting, replicating and enacting their uses. Installation and architectural options were explored through large scale setups, scale models and photography.
Each session asked display questions: how to display, contextualise and light objects? As well as relational questions such as: how do you react to objects in the home vs the museum, how is an object affected by being placed behind glass, how does it change when given a narrative? And conceptual questions: is there ever an ‘authentic’ setting, and if so how can you enhance it, or conversely play with artificiality?
11 students created individual responses to a particular object from the collection, and to the themes addressed in the sessions. A bespoke website, Interpreting Objects, was set up to document the student’s work and the project in general.
During the project the V&A became interested in acquiring the Camberwell Collection, and a event was hosted at the museum on the 11th of March 2014 featuring a presentation and panel discussion. Subsequent interest in the collection led to an exhibition at Chelsea Space, A Good Design? was curated by students of the Chelsea’s MA Curating & Collections.
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