Lasting Impressions 2019 was a great success. On 28th June, over 30 delegates joined convenors Abbey Ellis, Valentina Risdonne, Katherine Clough, and Carolyn Alexander for a packed programme of speaker presentations and a pop-up exhibition at the Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford. The exhibition provided an opportunity for Collaborative Doctoral Programme researchers to showcase their practice-based PhD projects, which were complemented by a selection of displays from external contributors. The photos below attest to the high quality and great variety of exhibitors on display who made Lasting Impressions 2019 such a standout event.
Kate Johnson: Filmic Chapters from Project Code-Named Humpty
In the morning speaker session, Kate Johnson from the University of Bradford spoke about her work on Project Code-Named Humpty, which aims to physically replicate a 2.7m tall figurative sculpture for the purpose of deliberate fragmentation and subsequent restoration. To date, Kate has produced three short, filmic chapters documenting her research. The films are shown daily on the ‘Big Screen’ in Bradford’s Centenary Square. They document the project’s clay sculpting, casting material development, and mould making. These films were also screened to attendees at Lasting Impressions 2019 to give a greater insight into Kate's work.
Beth Hodgett: Rear Elevation and Other Stories
In July 1939, archaeologist O.G.S. Crawford took 124 photographs of the excavation of the Anglo-Saxon burial ground at Sutton Hoo, Suffolk. He then made two identical sets of prints. Through an object handling session at Lasting Impressions 2019, CDP researcher Beth Hodgett allowed attendees to explore the very different biographies of these two sets of prints. This enabled the connections between the materiality of the photographic archives and the narratives of the excavation to be examined. The archaeologist can be invisible in excavation records, but in this display, attendees could join Beth in experimenting with creative reproductions of Crawford’s photographs, re-centering the archaeologist's presence at Sutton Hoo.
Carolyn Alexander: Object Handling
Carolyn's research asks why we are seduced by the idea of the ‘original’ and drawn to the old, worn, or ruined. Is the aura of a ‘thing’ bound to its materiality, or is it a social construction able to migrate to other objects, replicas or reproductions? Her interactive installations at Lasting Impressions 2019 explored our attraction to materials and the lure of the original. Based on lost or damaged material from the Glasgow School of Art’s Mackintosh Building, the replications on display invited attendees to reassemble lost artefacts and re-examine how we use objects to tell stories.
Carolyn Alexander: 3D Printed Reproductions
As well as contributing some pieces from her fascinating PhD research to the exhibition, Carolyn Alexander also provided attendees with the opportunity to pick up, touch, and feel a series of small-scale 3D printed reproductions, based on objects from the nearby Ashmolean Museum as well as institutions a little further afield like the Louvre and the National Museum of Scotland.
Lee Robert McStein: Nose of Amenemhat III
After its popular appearance at Lasting Impressions 2018, the LI team were delighted when Monument Men's Lee Robert McStein offered to bring his reproduction of the Nose of Amenemhat III along to the 2019 event. The nose is a 3D print from a photogrammetry capture. It was taken from one of 47 fragments from a pair of colossal statues excavated by Petrie at the ancient site of Biahmu in the Faiyum region of Egypt. The nose belonged to the Western statue and is one of the most complete pieces. The original colossal statues were formed of polished quartz sandstone and would have stood between 12-16m high. The piece was created as a composite of three separate 3D prints, totalling around 156 hours of printing time. The composite sections were fused together and filled prior to painting, with both matt and gloss varnish applied to simulate the broken and polished areas of the original.
Tom Railton: Artworks
Tom Railton is an artist working with hybrid forms in sculpture that explore the agency and appropriation of substance. Each of his works featured at Lasting Impressions 2019 imitated an original artefact, only to subvert expectation, in an attempt to redefine the experience of the viewer whilst relying on their knowledge of the original, 'host' form. In Tom's work, broken iphones become knapped obsidian tools, Neanderthal handaxes are reworked in metal, and a shrunken fragment of a monument used for drawing study is reimagined as an oddly-shaped gambling stone. Tom's work played with the themes of Lasting Impressions 2019 perfectly.
CDP students Lois Hanes, Susan Newell, and Elaine Charwat provided a wide ranging series of posters for the Lasting Impressions 2019 display, alongside an equally exciting contribution from Université Catholique de Louvain's Dr Annelies Van Den Ven. Topics included epigraphic squeezes, self-replication in the Italian Renaissance, the historic roles of geological casts, and polychromatic views of natural history models and casts.
Magdalena Getaldic: Virtual Tour of the Croatian Glyptotheque
Lasting Impressions 2019 attendees also had the opportunity to virtually navigate the plaster cast collection at the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts Glyptotheque. They were able to explore some incredible UNESCO monuments from the World Cultural Heritage List, from Diocletian's Palace to the Old City of Dubrovnik. Highlights of this virtual display included a 3D model of the Šibenik Cathedral, which combines awe-inspiring Gothic and Renaissance architecture.