Changes [Jun 17, 2014]Palestine/Ah
For nearly twenty years artist Paul Noble has been creating a remarkable world, Nobson Newtown, in drawings, sculptures, mixed media works.
This website emerged from a conversation between Paul Noble (PN) and Michael Shanks (MS), an archaeologist, from December 2013 to May 2014 in the run up to a major exhibition, through summer 2014, of Paul's work at Museum Boijmans van Beuningen in Rotterdam [link].
The site began as a means to help Michael compose a text about Nobson Newtown. He had examined the large drawing 'Ye Olde Ruin' in the Boijmans collection, and had followed up with research through Paul's published works. The outcome was a list of things seen in Nobson. The list appears below. Paul added images and occasional comments to those categories (grey text). Michael's finished text took the form of a sequence of short elucidations of each of the categories (black text). Titled 'In Parenthesis', this annotated list is part of the catalogue 'Nobson' published alongside the exhibition.
Why the need for the website? Paul lives in London. Michael in California. The site is a kind of shared third space.
Why was Michael asked to write about Paul? Sjarel Ex (Director of Museum Boijmans) was convinced that he was perfect to write about Paul Noble for two reasons. First were Michael's broad academic credentials, as a humanist and archaeologist who excavates ancient cities. Secondly, and possibly most persuasive, was the geographical accident that Michael was raised in Blyth, a collier port in the North East of England and only four miles north of Whitley Bay, the seaside town that Paul is from. Further coincidence revealed itself in that after studying classics and archaeology at Cambridge Michael taught Latin at Whitley Bay High School, starting in 1983. Paul went to Whitley Bay High School, but left in 1982 to begin Art College. They never met.
In Parenthesis comprises
things - you might see in Nobson
topics - how they might be perceived and discussed
mythography - allegories and stories that might come to mind.
(NB - topos is a place - cf "topology")