Bummock: Tennyson Research Centre is the result of a long-term artistic investigation by artists Danica Maier, Andrew Bracey and Sarah Bennett, in the Tennyson Research Centre (TRC), Lincoln. This archive holds what is considered to be the most significant collection in the world relating to the Lincolnshire-born nineteenth century poet, Alfred Tennyson. Though the archive houses a wealth of objects and information on the poet himself, it is the lesser-known and intriguing content concerning his wider family and relationships that has been central to the creation of new work by all three artists.
Over the past four years, the artists have explored the archive with an intention to examine and respond to what they call the ‘Bummock’; a term used to describe the large part of an iceberg hidden beneath the surface of the sea. This exhibition forms part of a wider research project, ‘Bummock: Artists in Archives’, led by Danica Maier and Andrew Bracey, which is investigating, researching and using unseen parts of archives as catalysts for new works.
This exhibition shows new works by each artist, alongside the objects, memories and stories selected from the archive that inspired them. Danica was most taken by Alfred Tennyson’s great niece Fryn (Wynifried) Tennyson Jesse. Her new work looks at Fryn’s legacy and her personal relationships, through the lens of Danica’s own family and female relations. Andrew’s interest was captured by the drawings and sketchbooks of Alfred and Emily Tennyson’s eldest son, Hallam. His work explores these objects as unique visual records giving a fascinating and alternative insight into the upbringing and daily life of Tennyson’s children specifically, and Victorian life in general. Sarah’s research took as its starting point Tennyson’s immediate family and the various illnesses from which most of the male family members suffered. She then investigated the situation of the female Tennysons who were excluded from a university education, unlike their male counterparts.
More about ‘Bummock: Artists in Archives’ can be found at: https://www.bummock.org
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