Peter Blake At The Holburne Museum

Peter Blake: A Museum for Myself

The Holburne Museum: 14 May - 4 September 2011


Peter Blake, Elvis Shrine, 2003

This is an excellent exhibition and is a counterpoint to our own exhibition across the bridge and up the road from the museum. I was lucky enough to be given a guided tour by the curator of the show and was blown away. My favourite piece undoubtedly was the small chromed artist's paint box - glimmering and redundant, an oxymoronic object of such aesthetic luminosity that I wanted to eat it. If you like our collections and want to see one man's personal museum of his favourite beautiful things, then I recommend a visit.

Here's a brief synopsis from the ArtFund website:

The Holburne Museum has reopened its doors after three years with a major focus on Sir Peter Blake. For the first time, items from the artist's extensive personal collection are displayed alongside his own works. Known as the godfather of British Pop Art, Blake has been closely involved in pop culture for half a century. His cover for the Beatles' 1967 album Sergeant Pepper is one of the most enduring images from that decade. On display are sculptures and collages from throughout Blake's career, including the title work A Museum for Myself (1982), Elvis Shrine (2003) and his series of 'Museums of Black and White'. Items on show from Blake's personal collection include Victorian collage, pop ephemera and showbiz memorabilia. Look out for the marching troupes of toy elephants, General Tom Thumb's boots, a hare with antlers and Max Miller's shoes.

It has been said that in his early career Blake was the first member of the Pop Art movement to feature celebrities as subjects. He tapped into a new trans-Atlantic art sensibility with Locker (1958), an army locker decorated with pictures of Hollywood sirens Brigitte Bardot and Kim Novak. Blake has created artwork for many pop acts, including The Who, Paul Weller and Band Aid. One item of pop ephemera in particular from this exhibition, Ian Dury's rhythm stick, bears witness to a deep, mutual artistic relationship. Dury, who toured with The Blockheads and wrote the chart-topping song Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, had been a student of Blake's at the Royal College of Art, and wrote a song called Peter the Painter. Following Dury's death in 2000, Blake designed the cover for the tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties.

Peter Blake - A Museum For Myself

Opening Night


The Officers Club, Bath

So we are in the space..... Today is the start of the week of preparing the space, allocating space for the work and awaiting the exhibitors arrival to come and set up their work!

The opening night is this Friday 27th May 6-9pm 
There will be a main bar and the venue is also occupied by several other exhibitions to go and see.
Look forward to seeing you all there!

See the Fringe Arts Bath website for full details of the festival


The Collective Present: Martin Parr Talk @ The Holbourne Museum, Bath

Martin Parr: Memorabilia, Museums and Motorways

While the Holburne celebrates the art of collecting we are very pleased to welcome the renowned photographer and avid collector Martin Parr who will be discussing his enthusiasm for motorway memorabilia and other essential stuff.

The talk will be preceeded by an introduction by The Collective’s Ian Smith who will be discussing his own detailing and arranging of Panini football stickers to the point of madness.

Tickets for this event are available from The Holburne Museum’s box office.

£8/£5 (limited concessionary tickets for The Collective visitors - please ask for voucher at the exhibition).
The talk is brought to you by the Holburne Museum in association with FAB curators, The Collective.

The Collective – Press Release

The Collective present a selected contemporary exhibition of weird and wonderful collections and peculiar artifacts from artists and non-artists alike. 

The exhibition is part of the Fringe Arts Bath festival taking place at The Officers Club, Stall Street, Bath between May 27th and June 12th 2011, 11-6pm.  

Opening night Friday 27th May 6-9pm.

Items on display in this collection of curios and obsessions range from a bald man’s fascination with combs to a grandmother’s collation of 40 years worth of Scrabble games, a beleaguered artist’s stack of rejection letters, lost keys, found objects, apple cores, fruit stickers, football stickers, meticulously detailed and archived photographs of garlic, objets d’art and objects de’ not art. These curious curios, unconventional archives, objects and images, paraphernalia and ephemera, sit alongside everyday obsessions, repetitions and observations in their many forms offering a fascinating insight into the act or art of collecting.

The ephemera and collectables in the show have been sought and curated by The Collective who themselves have a passion for stuff and stuff gatherers, having met at a cereal packet convention in America in 1989. Mirroring current contemporary exhibitions such as the Wellcome Trust’s ‘Things’ exhibition and outsider art at The Museum of Everything, the show rediscovers the tactility of the passionate object in a time of throw away technology and digital archivism.

In collaboration with the re-opening of The Holburne Museum in Bath, and as part of the Fringe Arts Bath fortnight, The Collective have programmed photographer and enthusiastic collector Martin Parr to give a talk about his obsessions and collections which will include his passion for M1 memorabilia. The talk on May 31st 7pm will take place in the museum itself with an introduction by The Collective’s Ian Smith who will be discussing his own detailing and arranging of Panini football stickers to the point of madness. Tickets for this event are available from The Holburne Museum’s box office.

Entrance to the exhibition is free and there will also be a chance to become part of The Collective’s own collection.


The Collective present a selected exhibition of weird and wonderful collections and peculiar artifacts from artists and non-artists alike.  Curious curios, unconventional archives, objects and images, paraphernalia and ephemera, sit alongside everyday obsessions, repetitions and observations in their many forms offering a fascinating insight into the act or art of collecting.

Exhibiting Collectors.....

And so...we've come to that time when things are beginning to happen...and fast! We've had some fantastically wierd, wonderful and often obscure submissions from all over the U.K, and after careful consideration and musings about just how to represent the wonderfully eccentric world of the diversity of personal collections, we are pleased to announce the following people (and their collections) will be a part of creating The Collective's exhibition:

Bernie Vinton, 
Bryan Eccleshall www.bryaneccleshall.co.uk
Carolyn Arnold  www.carolynarnold.co.uk 
Daniel Paton, www.paulopatoni.co.uk
David Foggo, www.davidfoggo.co.uk
David McNab,
Des Fullerton,
Ephemeral Incident, 
Gill Holt,
Ian Smith,
Jennifer Cooper, www.jenny-cooper.co.uk
Jim Cooke,
Kieran Fawcett,
Lauren Hudson, www.worksofhudson.blogspot.com
Lucy Axon, www.lucyaxon.tripod.com
Paul Matosic, www.matosic.org.uk
Rachael Bond, www.rachaelbondphotography.co.uk
Rosie O'Driscoll, www.rosieodriscoll.tumblr.com
Samantha Francis, www.samfrancisco0.blogspot.com
Samuel Lindupp,
Tony Eastman, www.tigermuseum.com



Collection A Day

This is a blog documenting a project that spans exactly one year, from January 1, 2010 to December 31, 2010. On each of those 365 days, the artist photographed or drew one collection. Most of the collections are real and exist in her home or studio.




1. the act of recalling something from memory; the ability to remember
2. something remembered; a memory
The Collective is our title for an exhibition taking place in May as part of the Fringe Arts Bath. The title was chosen to reflect the contents of the exhibition, which as yet have not been decided, but which we know will be in the realm of tactile ephemera, everyday obsessions, observations, curios, stuff and things and objects and art or not-art. It will be a collective experience of the minutiae that mean something to someone; once presented and re-contextualized within the art form, the purpose is to celebrate and indulge in other people’s enthusiastic meticuli and love of the specific.


Mark Dion - New England Digs

Things Exhibition @ The Wellcome Collection

The Welcome Collection is a gem of a museum in London and describes itself as a free destination for the incurably curious. Henry Welcome was the founder and his collection is odd in the extreme with trapanned skulls, a body preserved for hundreds of years in a peat bog, amputation saws and victorian false teeth. There is a collection of contemporary artifacts including a slither of a real human body from head to foot as well as contemporary art which responds to current scientific issues. Part of the exhibition is a collection of 'things no bigger than your head' bought in by the public.


Hans Peter Feldmann

One Pound of Strawberries

All the Clothes of a Woman

from The Artificial Kingdom by Celeste Olalquiaga

"Selection and organisation allow collectors to establish a particular relation with their objects: no matter how common, an object can always be rescued from its apparent banality by the investment in it of personal meaning, that ineffable 'sentimental' value which can beat the most priceless item."


We Like.... Viktor Wynd's Little Shop of Horrors


The Shop is perhaps best seen as an attempt to recreate or reinterpret, within 21st century sensibilities, a 17th century Wunderkabinett; a collection of objects assembled at a whim on the basis of their aesthetic or historical appeal. There is no attempt at creating or explaining, meta-narratives or educating anyone. It is merely a display of Naturalia and Artificialia designed to give pleasure to the creators of the Museum, who hope that you too will enjoy it.


Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow?

A collection of strange singles from the Hot Or Not dating website circa 2005...


You may collect...

...model Chrysler buildings...

...picture frames...

...Japanese toys...

...old pharmaceutical jars and packaging or...

 ...Koshari kachina figurines...


Pin-Board at 69 York Road

Open/Closed Signs by samfrancisco

The Upper Ten or Squirrels Club by Walter Potter


What Is A Collection?

A collection is a group of resources that are related to each other in some identifiable way. The relationship might be through a topic, a place, a person, an organisation or a type of object.

A collection may be divided into smaller parts, or sub-collections, which may in turn be divided into smaller parts. For example, a library collection might be divided into fiction and non-fiction stock, with the non-fiction stock divided into lending and reference stock, while a museum might have collections of ceramics, textiles, coins and silverware, with the coins divided into categories or sub-collections by time period - Roman, Anglo-Saxon, medieval, etc.

What to do with dead flies or How to have fun? Photos By Julie Guerrin

Le Palais Ideal

Le Palais Ideal was built by Facteur Cheval - Postman Cheval - Ferdinand Cheval and is one of the world's most astounding visionary structures.

Why is it here in this place of collections?

Cheval was a simple country postman in the small village of Hauterives, Drome, France and one day he found a strange stone that fascinated him....33 years later after collecting hundreds and thousands and millions of stones, he had built Le Palais Ideal.

His vision was based on the places he saw on postcards from foreign climes and images from magazines that he delivered on his round. He would find the stones and collect them in his wheelbarrow after his work was finished.

This is truly a work of obsession, drive and collecting.