Tool Museum investigates historical hand tools and their meaning in contemporary high-tech culture, where “work” is largely accomplished by clicking buttons, and individuals consume rather than produce. The austerity of recession may have generated renewed interest in the idea of make-do-and-mend, but visitors to museums of historical collections often wonder what the tools were for. In using hand-made abstract versions to provoke the same question, I wish to highlight our collective lack of awareness of making and production.
The work reflects my personal experience of escaping from behind a computer screen to engage in the physicality of creating artefacts and exploring my connection to landscape and the handmade. Using natural wood with copper, silver, steel and gilding metal, the abstract tools invite the audience to invent their own functions, and consider the value of making. Memory is strengthened by repetition, so my work addresses 7 archetypal tasks over and over again: brush, scoop, poke, cut, rake, look, hit. It is an act of remembering