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The HAT Project 2006/07 is supporting 20 exchange fellowships between England, South Asia and Australia

Jane Webb

Residency at MIRIAD

Getting lost in more ways than one

Posted by Jane Webb on 20th December 2006

As the member of the team that stayed at home due to work commitments, I have felt very much at a distance from the project though I have been finding ways to make contact. I have been doing lots of visiting in Britain and lots of thinking. My trip to Bristol to meet Hanne was a great experience, particularly as we nearly didn't meet at all! Basically I got lost and Hanne couldn't find me and we spent a good half an hour describing various landmarks to each other, neither of which seemed to tally with our own immediate landscape. This was an extreme case, but visiting all the artists has in some ways been marred, or perhaps one could say enhanced, by this initial geographical confusion. This seems to me to be a very telling metaphor for communication in general and being lost and finding oneself is certainly something I have been researching into. I also went to Oxford recently, with the students from the course on which I teach. Again, this was a great day and I saw some incredibly inspiring objects, like me, at a distance from the locations where they should have been. We went to the Pitt Rivers museum, and this made me consider again the way that objects move from one location to another and how that movement is important to our understanding of the object and makers who created it. I also went to the History of Science Museum, which was full of mysterious objects for finding your way. I only wish I had known how they were used... Finally I went to Manchester to see Anne Morrell again. We had a very interesting discussion about betel bags from Sri Lanka as they were recorded and photographed by Ethel Mairet. This has led me to begin research on Sri Lankan marriage festivals and other high profile and important journeying... so if anyone out there can help, don't hesitate to contact me! So all in all, I may not have been with everyone in body, but I have been taking a parallel journey and travelling with you in spirit!


Jane Webb's talks to during cHAT week at Sanskriti, Delhi, India. March 2007

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