University of Bristol creative intervention part 1

14 February 2015
Creative Interventions:
Re-imagining the archive
Jo Elsworth
University of Bristol Theatre Collection
Accredited museum
60+ years of collecting
Primarily archival
3 staff, many volunteers
Open to all (c.3k p.a.)
Research driven
M&M ‘step-change’
Archival material
• Photographs, letters, scripts, papers,
playbills, prompt copies, music etc.
•Paintings, designs, working sketches,
engravings etc.
3D material
• Costumes, objects, set models, props,
ceramics, ephemera
A/V and digital
•Film, sound, born-digital and digitised
Books and journals
Map of London from Civitates Orbis Terrarum, published by G
National Review of Live Art, 2009.
Braun and F Hogenberg, 1572.
(All performances recorded on miniDV)
14 February 2015
Theatre Collection: Vision
• Curate - a world class collection
• Encourage - and enable it to be used for
research, education, enjoyment and inspiration
by all those who wish to do so
• Catalyst - for new scholarly and creative work
and new partnerships
• Artists in the Archive
14 February 2015
Case Study Projects
• Emergent artists - Tim Bishop and Eleanor Fogg
• Working with groups - Bristol Printmakers
• Artists and Researchers – Franko B and Cara Davies
• Artist in Residence - Clare Thornton and Unfurl
14 February 2015
Emergent Artists – Inspired by the archive
Tim Bishop: Water Action
•Undergraduate work
•Exploring issues of
•Water Action now in TC
14 February 2015
Performance Documentation as Installation Art
Installation contents
6 photographs;
2 DVDs;
1 VHS tape;
5 audio cassette tapes;
3 handwritten A4 pages;
3 found objects
Numerous assorted photograph
Theatre Collection Accession form;
2 documentation photographs.
14 February 2015
The Artist’s View…..
My artistic practice has become much more
considered...This awareness has also evolved into
active engagements with the duration of works
and provided stimuli for new works. For example,
my recent moving image work “echoes of a dying
medium” (2012) uses VHS tape to foresee its own
eventual demise and technological obsolescence.
I now have much more of an idea of how archives
can provide creative inspiration for new work, not
just through the absent events that documents in
the archive represent but also through the
practices, systems, history and material objects of
and in the archives themselves. This is the thing
that surprised me the most.
I thought I would get the most inspiration to
make new work from the excellent examples of
work represented in the archives. But, instead, the
biggest inspiration to my own work came from
questioning the methods that had been
employed, and are being employed, to represent
these events.
Images and quotes from Tim Bishop (September 2013)
14 February 2015
Emergent Artists – Inspired by the archive
Eleanor Fogg: The 13 Books Written on the Skin
Please follow the instructions below in preparation.
Your title is No. 10, 'The Book of Silence'.
1. Please write down a memory that is in some way
connected to a part of your body. Your memory
may be read out, but you will not be identified.
2. Select a section of the text, no more than 10
words long, to represent your memory on my body.
3. Do not send me this information, but bring it with
you to the event.
4. Reply to this email telling me where on my body
you think it would be most appropriate to document
this memory.
5. Come to the internal entrance to the Theatre
Collection at 10:30am on Monday 26th April. Bring
the required information.

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