‘Kitchen antics and appliances’, is the title of an artist in residence programme with Barbara Dean, Hilary Kneale and Annie. The residency took place at The Museum of Domestic Architecture (MODA) between April and November 2006, running in parallel with ‘What’s for Dinner: Half a Century of Eating Habits, a MODA initiative funded by The Heritage Lottery Fund. The museum reflects lives in the first half of the twentieth century, focusing on contemporary design, art and the home, it is also known as 'the museum of the history of the home'’. Dean, Kneale and Rapstoff, undertook work that explored notions of home particularly from the ‘rear’ or under belly’ of the domestic environment. Subtleties of memory provoked by domestic objects may encompass performance, book works and work on the web.

As part of their research and work, the artists plan to invite responses to the collection, particularly involving local community groups who could visit the collection and participate. This would include finding ways to access reminiscence and memory through the objects in the setting of a traditional ‘tea party’ as an opening. Groups will have access to the collection and interaction with the artists as they work. The artists are particularly interested in working with families and older people.

The ‘tea parties’ and investigations into personal domestic objects with local groups should be fun and at the same time rich and interesting. The artists are interested in working with existing groups as friendships and bonds will have been built up between members and may increase an ease in the dialogue, providing a relaxed approach to the event. Members of the group will be invited to bring a personal domestic object that holds some resonance, memory or story, which they will then be invited to share with the group. The content of these will vary, as will the depth and approach, all will be valuable. For example Hilary kneale has a very strange potato masher that belonged to her grandmother, she has stories about both masher and her grandmother from childhood, “my grandmother was born in 1900 and lived until she was 102”. It is anticipated that the development narratives concerning objects, memories and associations, will enrich the museums collection.   

The domestic environment is under constant reinvention, it is subject to both cultural and consumer influences and is a personal environment that is also an expression of personal identity.

If you or your groups are intrigued and curious about taking part, working with the artists in their research, while becoming involved in a lively, interesting and fun event, please get in touch.

Local Barnet community groups have also been invited by the artists to engage with the collection through a series of hosted tea parties. Members of the Women’s Institute, Contact the Elderly and IPOP (Inclusive Play Opportunities Project) will be bringing their own ‘memorable’ domestic objects to the museum setting and participating in an exchange and interpretation of ‘stories’, creating new narratives.

The artists participated in an opening event hosted by MoDA on Tuesday April 25th, which included a talk about their work and an evening of discussion and performance about the processes and outcomes of the residency.

Funded by the Arts Council and Milly Apthorp

Description: A thirty minute performance reading by the artist, in which the audience are invited to sit around a table for tea and cake, whilst the artist reads and moves amongst/around the table. An audience remain as viewers on the edge of the space whilst those around the table become performers within the frame with the artist. The readings include a series of  narratives concerning collecting and the domestic environment.

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