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Richard Slee: Mantelpiece Observations (Saturday 12 September 2020 to Sunday 3 January 2021) at Bolton Museum

Toby figureThis exhibition at Bolton Museum presents new work by Richard Slee, one of Britain’s most important contemporary ceramic artists. The newly commissioned pieces have been inspired by Mass Observation’s Mantlepiece Reports of 1937. The reports, with their fascinating lists of objects, reveal much about the tastes, preferences and preoccupations of people living in 1930s Britain. Slee’s work also explores questions of personal and national identity, history and taste, through his surreal transformations of ordinary domestic objects.

Slee has also selected 18 photographs by Humphrey Spender to hang alongside his mantelpiece ceramics. Spender was the lead photographer on Mass Observation’s study of Bolton and Blackpool in the late 1930s, and the 900 images he took for the project are held in the collections of Bolton Museum. The photographs of industrial Bolton and its textile workers at play in Blackpool are hugely evocative of the 1930s, and therefore lend a sense of period context to Slee’s new ceramics. Material from the Mass Observation Archive is displayed as part of the exhibition.

More more information visit the Bolton Museum website.