Previously featured in The Guardian as their Exhibition of the Week, Great Expectations, by international artist, Adam Chodzko, will be at the Guildhall Museum, Rochester High Street, until September 11th. Whitstable based Chodzko, whose work is exhibited extensively, and who was recently shortlisted for the prestigious Jarman Award, lectures at the School of Music and Fine Art. (Find out more here: https://www.kent.ac.uk/smfa/news.html?view=1486 )
The work was inspired by a series of enigmas surrounding the world’s most complete collection of 18th century tools. Revered by trade researchers and historians, the Seaton Tool Chest is considered by curators to be one of the Guildhall Museum’s most important artefacts. The large wooden cabinet houses the 200 tools that were a gift from cabinetmaker Joseph Seaton to his son Benjamin in 1796, who used the tools to make a beautiful cabinet to store them in, but never used them again. For artist Chodzko, this is the perfect symbol of acceptance and rejection between child and parent. His response, Great Expectations, re-imagines the chest as a conceptual art object transformed into a virtual entity or spaceship in a revolution instigated by the tools, weaving together past, present and future in a video (combining animation and documentary) and sculpture.
Now living in digital form, the tools narrate their history, a story of familial, social and cosmic joinery. They also claim to have made Ark Eye, a wooden sculptural object that has crash-landed from their digital universe into ours, to become a sci-fi museum curiosity.
Over a 6 month period, the work has also appeared in a DIY store, on a massive screen overlooking a busy bus station and car park, in the home of a traditional sign-writer, and within a school community, connecting public spaces in the Medway towns of Gillingham, Rochester and Chatham with the private interiors of home and school.
Great Expectations is the final commission in Hoodwink’s three-year programme of site-specific projects in the everyday places of Kent and can be experienced at The Guildhall Museum, Rochester, which is open 10am to 5pm, Tuesdays to Sundays, plus Mondays during the summer holidays from 27 July to 31 August. Tel 01634 332900 or email: email@example.com