Unscene: Patent Pending

  • Location Stanley Arts

This performance was written and performed by Rachel Sampley as part of her commission for the show Unscene. Unscene is a production led by Zoo Co, as part of the NLHF funded heritage engagement programme at Stanley Arts.

The pieces are each standalone, based in spaces at Stanley Arts which audiences may not usually spend time in, and some you may not even know existed!

Each artist has taken inspiration from a huge wealth of history related to the building and its surrounding communities.

Rachel’s piece explores themes of legacy and memory. She says ‘I am always very fascinated by how objects leave points of tangible connection through time’. It takes place as a video and poetry installation, and woven into the design are machines and technology based on Stanley’s own scientific inventions, and others of the time.

‘Initially, I was inspired by the physical tangible nature of the building. Upon further research, I started to become interested in the inventions of William F. Stanely. He improved and created many mathematical and drawing instruments. In his life, 78 official patents were attributed to him!’

‘I started to think about how these objects; where they are now and what purpose they served then. I find it inspiring how one person’s experience of creating and making can then connect them to someone else far in the future.’

‘What do we leave behind and what do we take forward?’

‘I love looking at the small careful brushstrokes in a painting from hundreds of years ago. Imagining how someone once held the handrail of an old marble staircase as I glide my hand over the exact same spot. Holding a vintage mathematical instrument and wondering how someone thought carefully about how to mould the iron and steel to perfection.’

‘I think these tiny moments can spark a sort of magic when thinking about history and hopefully a curiosity. I hope people also think of their own ability to create and what they bring into this world’.

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