• ARTeology at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre

    As one of the artists involved in the Arteology Residency at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre I will be helping run workshops on:

    Saturday 28 October, 10am - 4pm.

    I look forward to seeing you there!

  • Art from the Archives

    Art from the Archives

    Exploring Ephermera- Sketched out

    Young Gallery Salisbury

    11 October – 1 November

    ‘Art from the Archives’ exhibition at Gallery One, Young Gallery, Salisbury Library, 11 October to 1 November 2014. This is an exhibition that has emerged through artists engaging with a collection of documents selected by staff at the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre.  From the 8 miles of shelves the 16 chosen objects showed the diversity of the knowledge and contents of the Centre. 

    The artists have fully engaged with the object, showing real commitment and a highly personal response. Their exploration looks at the tension between history and the present; between the origin of meaning within the intention of the author and the power of the reader to unmake, redefine and interpret shapes and scratches of the past into something new that speaks to the living world.

    The initial parameters for the project were a 2B pencil and a piece of paper no bigger than A5; no other material was to be used.  The submissions have been brought together as ‘The Semantic Archive’ artists’ book.  This is to be launched at the exhibition, and it can also be viewed digitally via

    The exhibition is an extension of the 2B pencil gatherings into pieces of work that reflect the artists’ discoveries via material that has been chosen to connect with each person’s chosen field.

    The exhibition will be selected and curated by Peter Riley, Curator, Young Gallery, Peter Tyas, Manager, Arts and Archives, Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and Julie Smith, Visual Lead, Artist, Art Lecturer at School of Art, Swindon College. This exhibition will enliven interest in the task of preserving historical records and their place/relevance in our world.  Not to be missed…

    Private view 2pm, Saturday 11 October.

    Julie Smith

  • Semantic Archive Project

    This is a project conceived by the Wiltshire and Swindon History Centre and Julie Smith, Lead Artist, to encourage a dialogue between the public, artists and the archivists at the Centre.  I have chosen to work from a map dated 1742 of Fisherton de la Mere.  The original, which is in the Archive at Chippenham is 20' x 7', now stored in a folio as 32 separate sheets.  The brief is to make A5, 2B drawings to be considered for inclusion in a combined portfolio of work, along with an exhibition of further works at the Young Gallery, Salisbury in October.

    The Semantic Archive

    The Semantic Archive follows the pattern of enquiry and reflection common to both artistic creation and research. The starting point for the project was the archive and the staff at the History Centre who selected 16 documents from the 8 miles of shelves. These documents were selected for their social resonance or personal significance and revealed new aspects to the archive which previously had not been explored. The project rejected the immediate capture of images through photography in favour of retaining the duration inherent within the artists’ creative method.

    The Semantic Archive allowed for a dialogue to emerge over time between the staff and the artists. The staff condensed their knowledge into short pieces of text and entered into conversations with the artists to reveal insights and perspectives on their working methods and practices. The challenge for the artist was to engage with this selection of documents to produce fine pencil studies.

    Just as an archivist searches for the truth of the past the artists looked for and recorded their own observations which were then translated to the creation of drawings via a 2b pencil. The project will deliver an artist-made book which binds together a selection of these works. The book will be donated to the archive and will be shown at an exhibition at the Young Gallery, Salisbury in August/September 2014. The exhibition will include a wider range of artworks charting the progression of the project and the artist’s thoughts through visual responses and text.

    Visual lead: Julie Smith

    Text lead: Peter Tyas

    The Semantic Archive

    Julie Smith