Working with Sharon Blakey and Manchester Art Gallery on the Mary Greg Project.
This project will explore an experimental interpretation project at Manchester Art Gallery that is enabling museological discussions to take place around the value and use of inherited collections.
Mary Greg’s collection of bygones consists of everyday objects ranging from keys, to miniature books, to rusty spoons, to dolls’ houses, collected from 1920-1950. Her collection is however mainly in store (and has been for some 40 years), and its place is contentious in the gallery: some think it would be better placed in a social history museum or even disposed of.
We have been exploring narratives within this forgotten collection. Both fascinated by, and collectors of, everyday objects, inspired by history, memories and biography.
In addition to the physical objects within the collection, we also have correspondence (1920-1949) between Mary Greg and Thomas Batho, the then curator at the gallery. These fascinating letters document a rich and ever-developing relationship between Mary and the gallery.
A project blog aims to challenge traditional curatorial authority. It will invite other creative practitioners to use the rich material as they see fit, creating new narratives and truly open-ended responses to Mary Greg and her remarkable collection. The public will thus take on responsibility for determining the future of this collection though explicit questioning of its value.