Through this practice-led research, I aim to unpick the relationship we have with collectively kept, hidden and lost objects discovered as hoards.

A hoard or collection is composed of things brought together to form a community, active agents, not passive things.

My aim is to identify and document the objects found in hoards, acknowledging and challenging the accepted categories into which they have been placed. This research will investigate the social and personal value of hoards found in the region of Yorkshire, examining hoards from different historical periods as well as more contemporary notions of a ‘hoard’ in relation to contemporary art practice.

Whole gold, Part silver 

Cord & acrylic – March 2019

  • Whole and part together – externally different from their internal making – gold and silver in appearance but not gold or silver in an actual material sense.
  • The cord has been in my family for over 30 years – original use disregarded many years ago and lay in disuse.
  • Several items that have existed like this have slowly been gathered and arrived at my grandmothers’. But this a place where not all of these items were originally used, however, they have all been placed here for their indeterminable ‘afterlife’.

A nick and a curl 

Wood, acrylic – March 2019

  • Silver – Nicking – the proving required the curl – the proof determining its status

Part Silver Nicked 

Wood, beeswax, acrylic – March 2019

  • Respect for the role silver plays within the context of a mixed metal hoard – it is used; chopped, changed, made into whatever it needs to be, constantly checked – but continues to be in whatever form it takes.

Whole Gold 

Concrete, acrylic – Feb 2019                                                                                 Found basket, acrylic – March 2019

  • What are the different roles that different material play in a hoard assemblage?
  • Silver seems to protect the Gold in a mixed metal hoard and keeps it whole for longer, whilst itself is broken, hacked, made into part and fragmented from their whole.

Gold – golder than gold (object)

Stone, Plaster, gold acrylic – Feb 2019

  • ‘Golder than gold’ – is a concept that I have found fascinating in respects to the reverence that gold as a material can command.  The idea that some gold is not gold enough for the human eye and that through human intervention it can be made more so.  This state over layering, control as to how this can happen feels so alluring and instead of validating a coveted ‘pure’ material, does the opposite.
  • Less gold, too gold, goldbrick

Silver – in part 

Plaster, silver acrylic – Feb 2019

  • Thinking about the treatment of Silver, in comparison to say Gold within the context of a bullion economy and how this physically translates into the hoards we find today.
  • What has been the treatment of each of the materials included within a hoard?
  • Looking to the hierarchy of materials and how they are used – some used readily, are first in line when funds are needed, whilst others are allowed to stay intact for longer before they are chopped, broken down, used.
  • The status of silver with a mixed gold and silver hoard seems to almost protect the gold items. They are the objects that are first used, dipped into before the final burial hidden moment.

Silver – loose change 

Leather, silk, silver acrylic, plaster – Jan 2019

  • Inspired by the Danelaw dual economy using both coin and silver ingots.
  • Both the coin and ingot object is found in so many Viking hoards, the coin direct in purpose and transaction, whilst the other seems slower, more considered in use through the person and hands it passes through – either given as whole or chopped to make payment.
  • These items function the same, but look and feel so different – providing a choice as to how you want to pay – swift, no questions asked (coin) or active engagement with the other person you are trading with (ingot) – the choice is yours!

Gold – kept pieces

Leather, gold brass, string – Jan 2019

  • An assemblage of ‘gold’ scrap pieces – a hoard if you will of small offcuts kept because of their value and potential reuse.
  • Their materiality marks their worth to be kept, scrap – but not scrapped.

Hoards – Untitled

Photographic paper, acrylic – Jan 2019

What constitutes a hoard?                                                                                       Does the type of object determine inclusion or exclusion?                              Does the material of the objects really matter?                                      Assemblage, Cache, Hoard – discuss

Silvered – wood 

Wood, 3D Print (grey filament) – Dec 2018

Silver – Woven ingots, encased 

Resin (clear), silver material pieces, water, glass bowl – 2017

Silver – a standardised form, but delicate form
Fragment – threads
Encased – safe
Placement – water – an offering
Glass bowl – on show

Silver – fragments encased

Resin (clear), silver material fragments, water, glass bowl – 2017

Silver – vulnerable form
Fragment – threads
Encased – safe
Placement – water – offering
Small clusters
Glass bowl – on show

Gold – part gold, part casement 

Plaster, gold button – 2017

Physical discovery – buried/unearthed – daylight & darkness
Plaster – encrusted
Gold – Hidden
Fragment discovery – Encased

Fragments, Gold Stitch

  • What makes a fragment valuable? – What is it made from? Why is it present within a hoard? What further information does it give us other than the existence of itself?
  • Are these ‘afterthought’ objects that are added to these hidden collections?
    Are these more approachable objects? Because they are less shiny than their hoard counterparts?

Containers – Plaster and Silver

  • The form in which a precious material can take for its use and movement in society – its flux state is natural and true to self.

Containers – Plaster and Garnets

  • Garnets – how were these semi-precious stones seen and used?
  • A stone – found in a raw state and also reshaped, was there a change in value, use, perception?
  • The reuse, recycling element to semi-precious stones, how were these reused?

Containers – Stone and Fragments

  • What constitutes a container for a hoard?
  • To see the container as just an object, it’s function being the same as the other objects it once concealed and protected.
  • A hoards’ content – literally, fragmentary

Fragments, Gold

  • A fragmented object, currently in a state of rest – redundant in use, waiting for its next reincarnation – a thing sitting still.

Flux Silver (Ingots) – A natural state

  • What form is a materials’ natural state? Especially when this material goes through transformation after transformation?

Torcs/Ingots – flux

  • When does an object turn into another, once its use becomes redundant or is rejected? It is due to the owners’ perception of the objects shape, usefulness or their change in need for the objects originate use?
  • As a response – using materials, cloth, sacking, thread and beads (different weights) a pliable set of materials, has felt right in creating an object that aims to show the flux moment for an object.  When this object becomes something else in the owners’ eye.  Its primary use can now be deemed different, it is allowed to become something else.

Objects as currency – tests 1

  • When does an object become currency?
  • Does an objects’ shape lead itself to be adopted in this fashion?  To become a currency – i.e. easy to carry, desirable (it is liked by a populace), deemed to have other good associated qualities (i.e. superstitions attached to the object etc.)
  • Are there just ‘go to’ shapes that we all and always have just accepted – ie. a rectangle, a circle
  • If, so when did we start to need this conformity? when did weight, not become enough? And the ‘misshape’ currency start to be reshaped?

Valued conversations – Mended and Pecked

  • The start of conversations between objects – mainly centred around their value – hence valued conversations
  • This conversation sees a ‘mended container’ and a group of pecked ‘silver’ (not real silver) coins/tokens, placed together to determine what objects we value and why?  In this case, these are objects that are fragile, not economically worth much and take the appearance and experience (pecking) of another material to make their way in the object world.

Gold – Pecked and Tested, Goldsworthy

  • Decorative marks – value adding or taking away? Value confirmed, but imperfection left.
  • The imperfections of noble materials

Coins – Pecked and Tested, Silver

  • To test a metal to see if it’s genuine, to test its worth
  • Pecked – to show its value.
  • Once pecked, the object has its value marked on it, its use is welcomely received.

Containers – Pecked, silver

  • To be pecked, because of the material it is made from – Silver.
  • To distinguish its value.
  • Was it mainly silver coins that were just pecked? because of the rate in which they were exchanged?  Value needed to be tested fast and in a manner that seems a universal action that most could do?
  • Are other objects made from the same material, as other commonly ‘pecked’ objects, subjected to this treatment?

Containers – Mended red, heirlooms

  • To be mended, because something is valuable and therefore is worth repairing, worth keeping, regardless of the material it is made from?
  • An heirloom perhaps – physically and emotionally valuable or just physically valuable or again emotionally value charged.