Artist Veronica Tonge has sent me information of yet another exhibition that she is involved in....again in Maidstone, Kent (UK). Below is the official flyer of the exhibition, then further down you can see some photos and information specifically about Veronica's fascinating work.
"Authenticity: Ambiguous Belief"
By Veronica Tonge
Here are the two doll's houses that Veronica used to make a two part art work "Authenticity: Ambiguous Belief" for Making Art Work's RESPONSE exhibition at Maidstone Museum, on show from the 8th - 29th November.
Veronica tells us....
"The concept is that these houses, an Amersham of the early 1950s and a Tri-ang of the 1970s, have been offered to the museum as a donation and said to be owned from new by the same family. They are presumed to be "authentic" but are they really what they are said to be, because in reality they have a hidden history?
The remains of the Amersham was rescued by someone (not me!) and the missing base and garage replicated. The previous owner had painstakingly removed the modern makeover to reveal traces of the original Amersham papers, and painted foliage on the front and also had some replicas papers made.
When I acquired the Amersham, it was on the way to being fully restored, but had unfortunately lost its period atmosphere. I managed to clean the roof back to nearly original condition and aged most of the other surfaces, "rediscovering" the historic damage! I reused the replica Amersham papers and made early 1950s style floor surfaces, adding suitably dated furniture and hope that it now appears "authentically 1950s", at least enough to bamboozle a museum curator who doesn't know their doll's houses...
The Tri-ang 50 was bought by me from a charity shop with 1970s illustrations stuck onto the outside by a child and the tin front completely overpainted with white gloss. Inside another child had fairly recently stuck yet more bits of magazines onto the rooms. I decided to cover the interiors with genuine "authentic" papers from a stash I bought in the 1970s, adding some illustrations from a 1970s Woman's Weekly and a Golden Hands.
Barton/Lundby bits from my collection and a set of Tri-ang decals (kindly provided by Trevor Cain) completed the artist's version of the authentic 1970s house.
The idea behind my work is "what exactly is authenticity?" Using aging techniques (a sort of forgery that museums understand) often happens when a museum object is conserved (you almost never can tell when an object has been repaired) is a form of authenticity - according to the dictionary definition above. Designating a found object as an art work by altering it slightly, was routinely practiced by the Surrealist artists of the early 20th Century and so, hey presto, you have an authentic, new work of art. My doll's houses were a response to the doll's houses in Maidstone Musuem's collection, and I hope that my art work for this exhibition will help to draw attention to them and help them to be seen as valuable social history records, as well as historic toys."
This is a fascinating concept.....hope some of you can get to see this exhibition.