Moping Owl: Forming a Collection

Well, a Museum of course needs things to show, and any self-respecting Storehouse, whether afloat or on dry land, likewise needs things to store: so you will be pleased to know that several significant acquisitions have already been – how shall I put it gently? – acquired:

item: a large portrait by Kalinde Wiley, an American, from her Yellow Wallpaper series, of Melissa Thompson, an east-Londoner whom she bumped into one day in Ridley Market, Dalston. “It represents the artist’s ongoing practice of subverting (goes without saying) historic European portrait traditions (about time too) with works that elevate sitters and challenge perceptions of blackness, to raise important questions (answers on one side of the paper only) about race, identity and the politics of representations.” The Art Fund has chipped in, so clearly it wasn’t cheap.

item: a hot pink Daria frock, worn by Beyonce for her Black is King album, by Molly Goddard, a dress-maker from Hackney. It is her largest so far, “inspired by baby doll dresses and exaggerated in scale, celebrating the power of femininity,” as such things do.

item: 10 photographic prints by Jamie Hawkesworth, from his Preston Bus Station series.

item: a 48-tile glazed ceramic frieze, Auntie, Mum and Me, by Mawuena Kattah (above). Her work draws upon her extensive personal archive of family photographs taken in Ghana, and more recent family studio photographs taken in London.

item: Itari, a visceral terracotta vessel (sounds exciting) by a British-Nigerian artist, Ranti Bam, “embellished with colours, patterns and textures inspired by her exploration of the written word”, which does rather leave us staring at each other with a wild surmise. Puzzling to say the least, but let’s leave it at that.

item: the archive of Anglepoise man, Sir Kenneth Grange.

item: a display of Frankfurt Kitchen, the model modern fitted kitchen designed by Margarete Schutte-Lihotsky in 1927.

All in all, a mixed bag, wouldn’t you say? And public money well spent? Yes, well, but, some of it, certainly, perhaps, up to a point, Lord Copper.