Tall Tales: Making Social Networks

Seven students on the Royal College of Art's  MA in Jewellery and Metal have created an exhibition, Tall Tales: Making Social Networks, at the Pitt Rivers Museum in Oxford.  The students each selected an object from the museum's world-renowned collection of anthropological and archaeological artefacts, and were encouraged to think about the communal uses that informed the making of them. They were then invited to design a piece showing how the  original role their chosen object played in society might relate to our current day social networks.  

For example, Georgina Howling began by considering a feathered ceremonial neck-piece. Through studying this, she became interested in researching the traditional uses of feathers in Britain. Having sourced dead birds, Howling learned traditional methods of plucking their feathers, and applied those she acquired to the ear flaps of a tweed deerstalker. 

Georgina Howling, Feathered Hat, 2015

Georgina Howling, Feathered Hat, 2015

An embroidered wedding jacket inspired Sophie New to investigate contemporary feelings about marriage and relationships. She interviewed friends and family, and collected personal photographs of weddings. From this, Sophie created a range of images, which she and other participants embroidered on to fragments of fabric. The final outcome was a 'double veil' decorated with these embroidered images, intended to be worn either by the bride or by the groom.

Sophie New, Display of double veil with working drawings, 2015

Sophie New, Display of double veil with working drawings, 2015

This is the third year in which students from the RCA have worked in collaboration with the staff at the Pitts River Museum. The project is part of the museum's Need, Make, Use initiative, which aims to illuminate the ways in which human creativity and ingenuity has driven developments in design and technology.