title page: Jane Martin & Erwin van Wanrooij
Museums at Night
A Book of the Night
Culture 24â€™s Museums at Night is the annual after-hours celebration that sees hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites opening their doors for special evening events during one weekend in May. Inspired by The Exchanges exhibition PRINT! it seemed essential to create an activity that incorporated the print presses contained within the showâ€™s Print Studio. Something that had a deadline would generate energy and purpose, thus the concept of A Book of the Night was born.
The gallery put out a call for printmakers, artists and
At 8pm on Saturday 14th of May 2011 eighteen people gathered
writers with the ambition that they would work
at the Exchange and a most singular and extraordinary twelve
together through the night to create a collection of
hours followed. Throughout the night people came and went,
illustrated pages on the theme of time or night.
the time flew and by 8pm on Sunday morning a total of 28 had made a contribution to the pages which follow.
The participants were unknown to each other until they met for the first time at dusk that evening. The intention was that what came out of the following twelve hours should be organic, growing out of a very particular moment in time.
Robin Dowell Canonical Hours
Night or Time Did I see the stars tonight? No, not tonight Tonight I’m dying. It’s dark here, the moonlight doesn’t reach me. So I lie dreaming of much time Aeons of it stretching into the past. Dream of the future where time Lasts forever– or not at all. Collect my thoughts Time is a comforting concept In the past I had time to look into the night I had time to scratch, to stretch To look around for a drink, The bottle, the cigarette To turn over in bed to cuddle. And kiss. But not now, tonight I’m dying I have no more time to dance To sing, to ride the waves To drive the car. But not now This night is the time for dying. Pugh
Roz Williams (text by Erica Pugh)
Twenty four hours. At home tonight are my brother and my dog. I love them. Mark is kind and warm and smart. Jack is funny and naughty and natural. They’ve got so many amazing qualities and I am a so glad we live together, twenty four hours. I also know, understand, that they are my substitute husband and child. I lived on my own for as long as an endless summer’s day and I really liked it. It was good knowing that if I put my keys on top of the fridge then they’d still be there later, the bathroom was always free and I got to choose the telly programmes. But suddenly I royally hated being on my own. If I was alone for more than five minutes, I panicked and thought ‘fuck me, this is horrible.’ My days weren’t full and interesting and long anymore, they were short and blunt, confusing and frightening. To overcome this, I watched dozens of nice, uncomplicated American movies where everything turns out beautifully in the end and I thought ‘thank fuck for that!’ the day is light and busy and optimistic. But then I became scared of the dark so I forced myself to go out walking late at night and identify beautiful things; the trees slashing the sky, empty petrol stations glowing like UFOs. That did the trick and I learnt that the night is calm and strong and confident.
But again, my fear slipped out of my grasp and this time, landed on Dusk. I couldn’t believe it! Not only had I to learn from scratch what to do with day and night, I had to do the same with the hinterland. Dusk left me so desolate because it was as if the day was giving up and dying, not a trace of life left. No life. I knew I was never going to have a kid and for the first time in my life, hope died. Then I got a dog. Luckily, Jack is brilliant. He is small so I can pick him up and cuddle him and he puts up with it and he’s cosy. And unlike a kid, he’s always pleased to see me, always eats what I put in front of him, and always has his coat on! My brother moved in. It was meant to be temporary but I asked him to stay the winter and then we realised that we get along really happily and winter has turned to spring. We’ve got a bloody lovely life, for example, Mark made us shepherd’s pie for tea tonight. You think you’re going to get one kind of day, you really believe, and when you don’t get it, you are broken into pieces. So you make a different kind of day for yourself and the sun comes up. Pugh Jnr.
Maria Christofaridou and Colin Perry
Lisa Anne Pate
A Book of the Night A digital representation of the prints produced during ‘Museums at Night” photography: Jane Martin graphic design: Erwin van Wanrooij copyright: © A Different Design Company 2011
A digital representation of the prints produced at The Exchange Gallery, Penzance, during "Museums at Night" (May 2011)