Moving on to the past

Several months ago I visited the University of Cambridge Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and was fascinated by their ‘visible storage’ area where they had simply laid out the contents of their storage boxes in display cabinets.  It struck me as being an inspired method of displaying things.  It makes these often-hidden objects – from Roman glass to stone age pots – accessible to everyone in a simple, uncontrived way.

Row of Roman bottles - pencil drawing ab
Row of Roman bottles

The rows, unsurprisingly, appealed to me as well as the fact that once upon a time, these were everyday objects but had now become treasured and rare.  I asked if I could visit the museum to draw/paint with the hope of thoroughly getting to know the objects. The museum have kindly let me visit once a week when they are shut and the objects can be taken to a place where I can study them. Drawing is my muse (I don’t know if that’s the right terminology but it feels right).  While I sit, I admire what I see and I think about nothing but what is there.  This absorption, together with colour sketches and notes, will lead on to paintings – at the moment the drawing is taking the lead and hopefully the paintings will follow.

Box of Roman bottles - pencil drawing
Box of Roman bottles
Two stone age pots - pencil drawing
Two stone age pots