Artist Blue MacAskill was given access to the collections of the National Library of Wales at Aberystwyth, for a year as part of her residency there. In addition to it’s marvelous collection of books, papers and other manuscripts the library also houses thousands of artworks, including paintings, drawing and photographic works. The artist was tasked with making this collection more visible to the public by exploring it and making new works in response to the experience.
Residency January – December 2008 followed by catalogue research and production
National Library of Wales, Aberystwyth
National Library of Wales
Funded by National Library of Wales and Arts Council of Wales
All images © copyright of Blue MacAskill
The artist responded to this task by creating a series of digital photographs and installations that explored notions of history, family and nostalgia. Focusing on the photographic collections held at the library and specifically on a series of magic lantern slides, she re-interpreted these for a twenty-first century audience. Magic Lantern slides are highly volatile, due to the manufacturing process and therefore cannot be readily viewed today. In order to utilize these images she digitally photographed each before re-using them. In one particularly interesting artwork she then chose to remake the images as microfiche. Thereby again rendering the images into a now, all but defunct technology.
‘Using a montage effect reminiscent of a 3D ‘pop-up’ postcard the artist ‘cuts’ and redisplays extracts from the collection in a way that would be impossible, criminal even, using non-digital tools…Equipped with her digital tools MacAskill offers an alternative future for this otherwise lost moment in time: to deconstruct the past and represent it as the present.’
Karen Ingham 2009, Dynevor Centre for Art, Design and Media from the catalogue ‘Other Rooms, Other Voices’ published by Addo, which accompanied the residency and exhibition.
• Liaising between the Arts Council of Wales and the artist
• Providing advise and support as needed to the artist
• Monitoring the progress and schedule of the project
• Providing regular project reports to the Arts Council of Wales
• Published Blue MacAskill’s publication which documented the project and the artist’s journey
Film Evening at the Drwm, National Library of Wales, October 2008 Exhibition at National Library 24th November 2008- 12 January 2009