Elephant Atlas: A Compendium

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Elephant Atlas: A Compendium

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Edited by Sophy Rickett. 

Featuring work by Xana, Sarah Butler & Eva Sajovic, Sophy Rickett, Steve Martin, Paul Tebbs, Jessie McLaughlin, Janetka Platun, Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos,  Liam Magee, Beverley Carruthers, Lalu Delbracio, Pamela Abad Vega, Marcus Boyle, Harold Offeh, Adam Dant, Alan Kane,

In spring 2013, the London Borough of Southwark’s Cuming Museum was displaced by a fire which damaged the building in which it was housed. Since then, the collection, which includes art, sculpture, ethnography, natural history and objects reflecting the lives of ordinary residents of Southwark has been finding new ways of engaging audiences in its work. 

 

For the Elephant Atlas project, seventeen artists and writers were commissioned to produce a work draws inspiration from this unique context. Working across photography, illustration, installation, artist lm, creative writing and participatory practice, they have explored many diverse ideas, including the legacy of colonialism in contemporary society, the notion of how an original trauma or loss might stimulate new forms of growth, the pathology of collecting and the rich diversity of oral histories. 

 

At this moment in its continuing history, Elephant Atlas explores some of the questions that the Cuming Museum Collection presents to its local community. More broadly, it begins to consider how museums might find alternative innovative strategies for making their collections available to the public in the current political and economic climate, physically, as well as an online. 

 

The Cuming Museum Collection is a repository for the histories
of a community; a way to imagine and re-imagine the lives that were lived here before, their politics, preoccupations, beliefs, ways of life. Elephant Atlas celebrates and explores it, and its current condition in all its delightful, yet challenging diversity. 

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