Caroline Wright, Sawdust and Threads
Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery
16 May - 27 September

Sawdust and Threads is a residency and exhibition that takes de-accessioned museum objects as its material. The project was conceived by Wysing Studio Artist Caroline Wright and Harriet Loffler, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Norwich Castle in partnership with the Polar Museum in Cambridge and UCL Museum & Collections in London.

Caroline Wright Sawdust and Threads

At each of the partner venues, Wright has undertaken a short residency during which time she has made detailed drawings of a number of chosen de-accessioned museum objects. Ranging from a rubber bedpan to a wicker signal ball, a pair of Inuit moccasin liners to a lace collar, the objects reflect the collections of the three museum collections. After the drawings are completed Wright then carefully and painstakingly deconstructs each object reducing it to its component parts.

For the exhibition at Norwich Castle all the drawings will be assembled, along with the museum objects in their various states of deconstruction. The artist will also be in the gallery on particular days so visitors will be able to watch the artistic process unfold and to see the objects in their different states.

The project poses questions around the nature of museum collections. Who owns these objects and how is the value of an object defined? Is value being removed or re-ascribed during this process of deconstruction? In her practice, Wright explores loss, repetition and the transformation of objects. She references the Freudian argument of the return to the inanimate in order to gain control. A publication exploring these and other related issues raised by the project will be launched on 11 July at Norwich Castle.