Andrea Oke – Axbridge & District Museum


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As an artist I have learnt to embrace the moment when your art works are displayed to the public.  The works represent a huge number of decisions and choices. However,  there is always a point at which you have to let go and hope let the audience interact with the work as you intended  and possibly find new meanings.

I will admit, that although the works can be viewed in a traditional way the very obvious inclusion of technology against a back drop of traditional craft and historical references to handwriting were a deliberate attempt to provoke conversation  and, my goodness, hasn’t it worked?

On the days that I have been present in the Museum I have been involved in some very lively debates. One of my personal rules is that, no matter how difficult, I try to keep an open mind and listen to all view. Where possible I will stimulate the conversation by offering opposing statements, even if they are not my own as I find it is a really good way to learn. However, I wasn’t prepared for how much these conversations can flow between different visitor groups, people unknown to each other have discussed the education system, the loss of skills such as copperplate writing and the downfall of the young due to technology.

Interestingly once the technology is demonstrated and use of the QR codes underway the visitors thoroughly enjoy the experience and open themselves up to engaging with the exhibition as a whole. This generally leads to an acceptance that  technology allows us to experience and engage in ways that just cannot be displayed through the paper cut artworks alone. It can illustrate historical references from the creation of inks to Roman writing tools in an accessible manner and, for relative newcomers to the technology, it still holds that little bit of magic when the artworks tell you there own story.