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Alchemy: Artefacts Reimagined

Alchemy is an exhibition of beautiful contemporary artworks by Ann-Marie James.

Wessex Museums invited Ann-Marie James to delve into the collections of our four partner museums (Wiltshire Museum, Dorset County Museum, Poole Museum and The Salisbury Museum) and choose an object from each to inspire a series of artworks.

She spent a year creating the finished pieces, all in gold or white. Gold derives from the Bush Barrow Lozenge (Wiltshire Museum) and the tale of Bacchus and Midas (Poole Museum); white from the chalk that the Amesbury Archer (The Salisbury Museum) was originally found in, and the white of the Roman mosaic (Dorset County Museum).

Her techniques included drawing, painting, printmaking and gilding with 24ct gold leaf.

We hope Alchemy inspires you to look at our objects differently and find your own inspiration in them.

The Artist
Ann-Marie James lives and works in Suffolk. She makes paintings, drawings and collage, and works with various forms of printmaking.

In her practice, Ann-Marie explores change, or metamorphosis. She is interested in the way that works from antiquity and art history might be used to investigate her own responses to individual works, their themes and origins.
She takes her starting point for a body of work from visual history – from Bernini sculptures, to Dürer’s clouds, or Hokusai’s wave. Identifying a detail or several details – the twists in a body, the curves in a cloth, the tonality in a cloud – she begins with silk-screen and then builds complex, layered compositions.

Ann-Marie’s James’ work is held in the collections of the British Museum, London; the British School at Rome, Italy; Chelsea College of Art and Design, University of the Arts, London; the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and the John Jones Collection, London. She has undertaken art residencies in Italy, Japan and the USA.

This exhibition has been generously supported by Ridinghouse/Karsten Schubert.

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