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UCL Culture Blog


News and musings from the UCL Culture team


Tomb Raiders: Ancient Egypt in Modern Art

By Edmund Connolly, on 17 May 2013

 Guest blogger: Kholood Al-Fahad

How can Ancient art be brought to life by contemporary art? Is there a connection between ancient and new?

Tomb Raiders is the place were such questions should have an answer.

Florence's temporal balloons

Florence’s temporal balloons

Get inspired by the intelligent ideas of the nine artists from the Central Saint Martin School. In May 14th the Petrie Museum, UCL, will present an exhibition in collaboration with Central St. Martin’s artists. A partnership which demonstrates how education plays a great role in the transformation and translation of the knowledge in museums. This exhibition brings the past back through contemporary works of the students of fine art. It sets an example of the power the objects of a museum hold within them in inspiring the minds of their examiners. It sheds light on the continuity of the meaning and significance of the objects after they end up in a museum.

Tais' new god

Tais’ new god

The artists were closely exposed to the objects from the Museum’s collection and were given the chance to study, search and create their own works. Their works reflected their interpretation of the objects they examined. Artists were inspired in different ways; Some were inspired by the ancient art objects themselves Like Florence Lam. Inspired by the idea of eternity of the ancient objects that stood the test of time by conservation and restoration work , Florence used balloons that die in a very short time to create non eternal sculptures. A juxtaposition between the eternal objects of the museum and the modern non-eternal sculptures. Others had different approach in interpretation. Lauren Jetty, for instance, was inspired by the methodology Petrie Flinders has used in establishing the museum linking it to the material world in the museum. She went on photographing everything she owns creating a collection that talks about her. A collection that piles up to compose a story.
Alongside the direct engagement with the objects, the artists used different techniques and methods to reflect their interpretation of the ancient art works in implementing talented works and intelligent exhibits in a contemporary way of thinking. They used various materials and different media to express their thoughts and tell their own stories. They did drawings, took photographs created animations and audios and used unusual materials like balloons in creating the message they applied to their works. They proved the continuity of the lives of the objects after being acquisitioned in a museum. Through their works they tell us silently that the past and present are linked forever.
Don’t miss the chance. Come and explore how very small details can create great works.

 Kholood is an intern at the Petrie Museum, studying at UCL Qatar.

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