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Friday, 9 October 2015

Between Artefact and Text Exhibition at the Ian Potter Museum of Art

A quick catch up post for you all, good reading folk of this blog.

Last year I went to the opening of The Ian Potter Museum of Art's Exhibition 'Between Artefact and Text.' The exhibition was designed as a public, schools and undergraduate educational and informative display. Objects were drawn primarily  from "the Potter's" own collections, many of which have come as generous gifts over the years, on top of the core founding donation collection of the museum and various other pieces acquired by the University of Melbourne over time. 
The concept was to explore three well known ancient cultures through a mythic text and then display artefacts which depicted, represented, were described in or otherwise reflected something about the mythic text and the society that recorded it. Ancient Egypt was explored through the Tale of Sinhue, the gripping tale of an exile's adventures and new life in Canaan only to have lived along adventourous life and return to his beloved homeland. Mesopotamia was examined through the Epic of Gilgamesh about the legendary king of Uruk described as 'two parts god and one part man' (meaning he was viewed as both a demigod hero and a priest-king mortal - but with just a bit more of the divine in him than the man) and he has often been claimed as the world's first superhero. The Classical worlds of Greece and Rome was explored through Homer's the Iliad and Virgil's Aeneid in turn.

A great teaching and learning exhibition that highlighted how we can make the best use of useing texts and artefacts together to better understand past societies (and as a mirror of our own), which urges the observer to question how and where text and artefacts might tell different perspectives of even the same story, and how and why might that be so.

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