Literally celebrating a new chapter

My article entitled: ‘The Animals went in two by two’ (pp. 184-197) in ‘Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales from the Crypt’ (Routledge Research in Museum Studies) is now published! This and starting a new job earlier in the month mean it has certainly been a busy few weeks.

It’s always nice to get hold of an actual copy, and mine arrived this morning. Here’s a photo of Mr. heirloom modelling it. 

Museum Storage and Meaning is available to purchase around the world, both from Routledge and from third party sellers, including Amazon, Barnes & Noble (US) and Blackwells (UK). It is available in Hardback (978-1-138-06597-0), and eBook formats (various ISBNs). The eBook is available from the Amazon Kindle Store, Apple iBook Store and from our partner eBook provider, VitalSource.

After the Flood: Calderdale Museums

I’ve recently moved into a new job at Hebden Bridge Town Hall, and so I thought I’d make a little post on the last exhibition (for now!) that I curated for Calderdale Museums.

The exhibition featured a series of photographs by Mike Bentley who has documented the demolition and rebuilding of Elland Bridge following the devastation of the Boxing Day floods, 2015. It is on until 11th November, so there’s still plenty of time to catch it!

Coming soon to Dean Clough Halifax

We have been a little quiet of late working behind the scenes on our next exhibition, but we are now happy to announce:

(no, not the birth of our beautiful baby *insert gender*, mother is doing fine yadda yadda)… but, INSTIGATE: EXCHANGE… a few rules (still)

is coming soon to Dean Clough Mills, Halifax, where we will be showing the next instalment of our collaborative adventure.

Join us from 12 noon on Saturday 17th June for the private view, including a free preview tipple or two!

Hope to see you there, Ebony & Ian xx


Upcoming exhibition – INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE ….a few rules (still)

The cat is out of the bag! Our next instalment of INSTIGATE: EXCHANGE will be at Wishbone Gallery, Grassington in the new year. Where we will be showing a collection of works from the exchange project we have been working on for over two years – including several brand new pieces! All will be for sale. The preview is on the 14th January, and the show runs until March, so plenty of time to pop in. We hope to see you there!


It’s finally here! The private view of INSTIGATE: EXCHANGE is tomorrow night!

A little news piece in the local press about our upcoming exhibition. The preview is tomorrow, 2nd June, 6-8pm, all welcome.

Ian C. Taylor and I are also doing an artist’s talk on Saturday 18th June 2-4pm. The event is FREE, although booking is advised, light refreshments included!


Here’s a sneak preview of, well, the preview!

Instigate_Exchange_ (58 of 60)

Exhibition Interpretation


…A few rules

An exhibition of collaborative artworks by Ebony Andrews & Ian C. Taylor, Water Street Gallery, Todmorden, 3rd June – 3rd July 2016.

The concept of INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE does exactly what it says on the tin. All of the works featured were produced by either artist instigating the start of a piece by presenting to the other a series of found objects (objet trouvé). These objects were then exchanged between the two artists, often multiple times, with additions and modifications being made to the works at each exchange. Crucially, at each exchange, much of the work undertaken by both artists took place largely behind closed doors, and without prior consultation with one another. A record of which of the two artists instigated each individual piece, as well as the number of exchanges it has undergone, is noted on the labels attached to the artworks. The labels, which constitute part of the finished pieces, therefore serve as reminders of the journey each artwork has undertaken and make visible the number of times each work has been exchanged.

Through INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE, Andrews’ and Taylor’s experimental approach to the creation of artworks consistently defers and denies the agency and authority that artists conventionally hold over the things they produce. Instead, their methodology forms an aperture of opportunity, a creative space within which the works almost make themselves. A space where ‘finished’ pieces aren’t made, but rather come into being.

The decision as to when a piece is ‘complete’ is one of the few rules that Andrews and Taylor outlined at the beginning of the project; a piece is only finished if both artists agree that it is finished. Equally, the nature of the project means that at times works also fail, and any ‘failures’ (as stated by the artists) are also mutually agreed as such. Interestingly, the inclusion of a number of ‘failures’ in this exhibition, marked out by Taylor’s poem entitled: Notes next to bin maybe (2016), helps the viewer more vividly imagine the kinds of objects that the artists have been identifying as possible ‘instigations’. They range from the exquisite and the eccentric, to the humorous and flat-out humdrum. The classificatory act of delineating either a success (ie. the creation of a viable artwork) or a so-called ‘failure’, draws attention to one of the key concepts behind the project which concerns ideas surrounding value. In differing ways, INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE both reflexively explores and subverts the time-honoured position of authority that the artist has historically enjoyed, and more broadly, that of the ‘art world’ itself. A world where the heavily encoded display culture of the gallery and/or museum serves to attribute notions of value to objects in a multiplicity of ways that, to the layman, can at times appear arbitrary, even irrational.

INSTIGATE : EXCHANGE constitutes a series of hybrid and experimental artworks in which the aesthetic sensibilities of either artist at times work in harmony, and at others, battle one another for the limelight. Overall, Andrews’ and Taylor’s journey has brought about creations that represent, celebrate and critique everything from totems and fetishes, to kitsch mementos, thrift store tat, and high art.

Conference of the Curious

On the 21st September I had the pleasure of presenting a paper entitled Making Natural Knowledge: the Art & Science of Taxidermy at Conference for the Curious, an event held as part of the Cabinets of Curiosity exhibition at Bankfield Museum (1st August – 3rd October 2015).

Conference for the curious

A lovely day was had by all and it always helps when lunch is included!

conference for the curious talks