This is a study of an object/subject from Ipswich Museum. It is an an overmodelled head from Ysabel Island, one of the Solomon Islands, where the likeness of the revered ancestor is built up using clay and other materials over the skull.
This specimen has since been removed from display, along with others: objects that are considered sacred, secret, or stolen are being readdressed during the museum's decolonisation programme, undertaken in conversation with living descendants of the peoples whose work - and sometimes bodies - they hold.
This is one of a series of works informed by anatomical specimens, models and illustrations. I am exploring the humanising effect of using traditional media and techniques to evoke echoes of the subjects' former lives. This interpretation or reinterpretation of museological display changes the context of the subject matter, which - alongside the muted colour palette - situates it in an interstitial space between the time of it's creation or entry into the museum, and the moment that it now occupies.