A Totally Memorable Exhibition

To the right is the catalogue for a wonderful exhibition I was fortunate to see in the new Musee
du Quai Branley in Paris, just a short walk from the Eiffel Tower.

The exhibition was of African artefacts, all of which showed some repair having been made. I had never thought before of how repairing something indicates it’s value to the owner or to the community to which it belongs, but it does. And in addition, the aesthetic sense if altered, too, so that the mend may compete with the originally intended value. A lot to think about there. The pieces came mostly from the vast collection of the Branley itself, some from the Louvre and other sources. The curators remind us that museums usually select intact works from their collections to show, although at any time most museums hold plenty of other damaged or repaired material

There were fabulous items incluiding some some wooden, some precious metal, textile and some ceramic- and a huge variety of techniques were used in the mending processes. The cover illustration is a detail of a beautifully incised gourd vessel, standing about 12″ high. It had broken for some reason – so holes were drilled and leather strips applied over the break and leather thonging ‘sewn’ or threaded through the holes to hold it all together. Naturally, when I saw this and a number of other examples of ‘sewing’ I was reminded of work I am interested in doing such as this example, above left, which I first blogged on July 4th last.

This exhibition was a real inspiration to me to continue to explore in this vein, and I am currently samplising. I have some leather thonging and some string, and can see something ‘rustico’ with either tan leather or suede and have some of each very nicely stained and splattered…

I apologise for the layout – something to do with the positioning of the photos on the right this a time although it has been sucessful before …. and when I deleted a word or two it got rid of the image….. which I have replaced with one upl;oaded in the editing phase – I find such occasional quirks and whims of Blogger’s unpredictable design ideas quite irritating at times, but since this is the third time I’ve tried to correct the layout! and dinner awaits, as they say in the Toyota ads – bugrit.
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