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29th April - 12th June 2016
Open Daily 10.30am – 6.00pm
Two years ago the museum began an ongoing project to document the hundreds of Morris sides currently active in Britain by getting the teams to replicate their distinctive costumes in miniature. To make the process easier and to allow the characteristics of the costumes to be highlighted, a plain cloth doll was commissioned. The doll has no features, allowing makers the freedom to embellish it as they see fit. Enabling contributors to have complete artistic expression ensures that the project is truly collaborative, with the resulting dolls being an accurate representation of their respective sides.
The completed dolls have exceeded all expectations - the immense time and care that has been taken to recreate the costumes as faithfully as possible is evident in the finished articles. They have been made with amazing attention to detail: from the inclusion of human hair, to miniature buttons and accessories.
As well as being a more generic document, the dolls sometimes reflect a point in time in a Morris side’s existence. For example, Bakanalia Morris’ captain - or ‘squire’ in Morris parlance - had a broken leg whilst the side’s doll was being created. Consequently, the finished doll is replete with miniature leg splint. This kind of feature is typical of the spirit in which people have contributed to the project.
Talks on MORRIS FOLK and the Museum of British Folklore will be held in the Jerwood Gridshell Space at the Food & Folk Festival on Sunday 1st May at 11.30am and 2.30pm
The museum has collaborated with the Beach Gallery in London. A selection of their artists have produced a range of artworks inspired by the museums collection. The show runs from 21st April - 2nd May at Somerset House.
We will be taking part in the Caught by the River Thames weekend later this year, with an exhibition looking at the folklore surrounding the river and the various customs associated with it.
A collaboration between London College of Communication, LCC Green Week 2015, the UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) and the Museum of British Folklore, Figures of Folk explores ongoing traditions through a series of large format photographs by Graham Goldwater, of objects associated with British folklore, alongside letterpress posters created by LCC students, inspired by ancient phrases and words.
In 2009, Simon Costin, the Director of the Museum of British Folklore, put out a call to the nation’s Morris sides to replicate their team kit in miniature, as handmade dolls. . The response has been overwhelming, with nearly three hundred sides participating so far, in the creation of a physical archive.
Together with the Morris dolls, The Museum of British Folklore owns a collection of Jig Dolls – articulated wooden figures, which were used by street performers to create a rhythmic beat and movement, mimicking traditional folk dance. Both collections have been photographed by Graham Goldwater, exploring the ways in which the photographic image both documents museum objects and extends their meaning and reach. Both object and photograph become an artefact of dancing and celebration which has taken place in Britain for nearly five hundred years.
As a temporal equivalent, letterpress has also been in continuous existence since 15th century and the work produced by LCC students, Oliver Zandi, Stefania Lucchesi and Vaida Klimaviciute, pays homage to this tradition. Much as Morris dancing has grown in popularity after an earlier decline, the letterpress was superseded by industrial and digital methods of printing. Today, Morris now has over seven hundred active sides and letterpress has seen a huge resurrection of interest.
Both of these activities represent a means of reaching out and connecting to the old ways. But, rather than being a purely nostalgic exercise, their acknowledgment of a rich, deep-rooted past serves to highlight the value of continuity in building a stronger future.
Hand printed letterpress images produced by LCC students as part of the exhibition are available to purchase at £20 each and £120 for a set of seven. Please contact Oliver Kourosch Zandi at: email@example.com
We would like to thank the Belles of London City for their performance on the opening night and also thanks to Professor Val Williams and Sarah Temple, along with the staff of LCC for all their help and support.
We are delighted to announce a new collaborative project with PARC and the LCC Green Week.
Press release -
A PARC collaboration with LCC Green Week and the Museum of British Folklore.
Showing 9 February � 30 April 2015 at PARCspace, Room W224, London College of Communication, Elephant and Castle, London SE1 6SB.
Open Tuesday and Thursday between 12 and 2pm and informally during each weekday.
A collaboration between London College of Communication, LCC Green Week 2015, the UAL Photography and the Archive Research Centre (PARC) and the Museum of British Folklore, Figures of Folk explores ongoing traditions through a series of large format photographs by Graham Goldwater, of objects associated with British folklore, alongside letterpress posters created by LCC students, inspired by descriptive phrases and words.