Lyndall Phelps – Abundance

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Lyndall Phelps – Abundance

1 August, 2015 - 20 September, 2015


Abundance 15 08 07 8Watch a large, intriguing art installation grow at the Museum of St Albans over the next 2 months, while the museum’s objects disappear, one-by-one.

UH Galleries, in partnership with St Albans Museums, are pleased to present a unique new artist’s residency at the Museum of St Albans. This marks the museum’s imminent move to its new home in the redeveloped St Albans Town Hall in late 2017.

Abundance 15 08 07 11Artist Lyndall Phelps will work alongside staff and volunteers this summer as they pack and document the collection at the Museum in preparation for the transition to the new site. Lyndall’s engagement in this activity will inspire a new, ambitious artwork for the Museum’s top floor gallery. Starting in early August, Phelps will transform the existing displays into an evolving ‘sculptural installation’. Week by week display areas will be painted out, museum objects removed and new elements introduced. Abundance will culminate in a celebratory event on Sunday 20 September – the last date that the Museum of St Albans will be open to the public.

Abundance 15 08 07 2Over the Museum’s two-year public engagement transition period, Lyndall will continue to bring together visual art and collection objects, with the people of St Albans. A range of community groups will be invited to join a programme of creative activity centred on the Museum’s unique collections and the new building. Finally, in 2017, inspired by her experience of the collections and processes of their transition, Lyndall will create an artwork especially for the new site.

Abundance 15 08 07 1Lyndall Phelps works with a range of media including sculpture, works on paper, photography, multiples, video or sound. These are often combined in installations which are visually rich, deliberately playful, sometimes magical and at times surreal. Her practice, which is strongly process-based, is often an exploration of specific sites or particular contexts. She enjoys investigating an eclectic mix of subjects which often reveal lost, forgotten or hidden narratives.

Abundance 15 08 07 5History, the military, decorative arts and the natural world, particularly birds, are recurring themes and this curiosity and fascination with many disparate things echoes the Museum’s varied collections. Phelps is particularly interested in the former function and social history of museum objects. She endeavours to make these visible again in her work, to encourage people to make links between past and present, and to be curious and intrigued.

Lyndall Phelps said ‘The chance to work in an empty museum, where only the display mechanisms remain, is a unique opportunity for an artist. It allows me to develop ideas that I have tested on a smaller scale in other museums and historic sites’. You can find out more about Lyndall on her website

Abundance 15 08 07 3Annabel Lucas, Collections Manager and Exhibitions Curator at UHGalleries said ‘The Arts Council of England’s decision to support Lyndall’s project with a grant of over £36,000 is testament to its value artistically as well as its potential to engage a large number of new people in the Museum of St Albans exciting collection activities’.

Catherine Newley, Curator of Collections (Post Medieval to Contemporary), Museum of St Albans, said ‘We’re really excited to be working with Lyndall. This will be the first time we’ve opened up our collections and museum building to an artist in this way. We believe it is a unique opportunity to view St Albans’ history in a new light.’




1 August, 2015
20 September, 2015


Museum of St Albans
Hatfield Road
St Albans, Hertfordshire AL1 3RR United Kingdom
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(01727) 819340