Artist marks St Albans museum’s final closure
PUBLISHED: 08:15 17 September 2015
A summer as artist-in-residence at the Museum of St Albans comes to an end for Lyndall Phelps when it closes this Sunday, September 20.
Lyndall has created a revolving installation to mark the closure of the Hatfield Road museum which has been on that site for nearly 120 years.
She has spent the summer working alongside museum staff as they have been packing up and documenting the collections.
The first in a three-part project entitled Abundance organised by UH Galleries in partnership with St Albans Museums, the installation marks the museum’s move to its new home in the redeveloped St Albans Town Hall in 2017/18.
As the display cases have been emptied, Lyndall has transformed them into an evolving sculptural installation exploring different strands of St Albans’ industrial heritage.
She has selected museum artefacts and archival material and displayed them alongside her own work, inspired by the collections, including golden golf balls, suspended rose petals, bird figurines and embellished ladies stockings.
The installation is not the end of the Abundance project. During the two year transition period, Lyndall will continue to explore the museum collections and share them with the people of St Albans.
Community groups will be invited to join a programme of creative activity centred on the museum’s unique collections and the new building. Finally, in 2017, inspired by her experience of the collections and processes of their transition, she will create an artwork especially for the new site.
Lyndall said ‘The residency has offered me privileged access to the rich collections held by the museum. It has been a joy discovering the many treasures in the museum’s archival boxes and storage areas, all giving a fascinating insight into the history of St Albans.
Annabel Lucas, collections manager and exhibitions curator at UHGalleries, said: “Lyndall has respectfully and lovingly transformed the old museum display, cherished and appreciated by so many visitors over decades. Working as an artist/curator she offers us a special, immersive experience that freshly explores well-known stories of St Albans.”
The museum closing event runs from 2pm to 5pm