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Stained Glass by By Sarah Dara and Ellie Mitchell

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As our first official task, we were assigned to interview Mark Parry, an artist who has recently done some artwork at the museum. We caught up with Mark to talk about the inspiration behind his window exhibition at the museum. Mark is an artist who works with light, film, digital video and photography both separately and in combination to create an approach which is driven by ideas, context and conveying meaning through evocative and emotive imagery and sound. He does this to discover the right combination of these forms to create a seamless whole. His exhibition at the museum involves colourful artwork displayed on window glass, composed with various shapes including lines, circles and squares to create a larger image.

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Mark says that his inspiration to do the artwork at Erewash Museum came from the local lace industry and how the patterns in lace were similar to modern network maps and visualisations. He explores the history of the house in which the museum is based, stating that it has a connection with the lace industry; the owner of the house Maltby also owned the local lace mill. He stressed that the museum has been an important hub for the area in the past , as well as currently, whether its old status as a house or new one, as a museum.

When questioned about his colour and shape choices for his artwork, Mark says that he chose combinations of colours in proximity and in layers to give different effects. He puts particular emphasis on presenting the effects of combining translucent, transparent and opaque layers. He shares that he desires for people to see the differences from different angles, whether from inside and outside. He went on to explain that his artwork at the museum is definitely a light based work and plays with the idea of the windows being the connecting plane between inside and outside.

We enquired about Mark's other projects, wondering if he has done the same kind of artwork on other buildings. He answered in the positive, telling us that he had recently done another window work for the Assembly Rooms in Lytham (“Topograph”), which was based on the local landscape. He said that it was similar to the work he's done for the museum, in that it was a single design which took in a series of windows across 2 floors. Most of his work is for public spaces rather than galleries.

When questioned about if he had heard any interesting stories while he was at the museum, Mark said that from most of the people that he spoke to, he picked up on the importance of passing on local heritage to their children and grand children. An unexpected response which he told us about was that someone told him that the museum was haunted and that they had heard a voice of a young boy. He also revealed that he has heard that there has been a very positive response to his work, even if at first people don’t know what it is. He hopes that this then inspires them to find out more.

We hope that Mark's responses answer some of the questions you may have had about his brightly coloured shapes on the museum's windows. They certainly helped us gain some insight into his artwork. If you haven't seen it yet, pop down to the museum to get a look!

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