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Concept

History in a box
between forgetting and imagining are the boxes of history.

The garden spade you thought lost, the cicada shell from that holiday, the seashells of your first beach, the memory of a mother’s touch. Objects remember the world-history in a box gives voice to those memories.

For centuries artists have recorded epic stories and famous faces. Now Melbourne artist Maurie Hughes gives artistic form to the intimate and the personal.

Beginning with treasured objects-your childhood Monopoly pieces, the old shoe washed ashore on a boat trip, souvenirs of the ordinary-Maurie assembles a tableau of everyday objects that connect with the emotional currents of remembered times and distant places. The tableaux are presented in handcrafted timber boxes suitable for wall mounted display.

Each history in a box is unique-a careful weaving of memory and imagination that resonates with those particular moments of beauty, truth, adventure or peace. The histories are told with a mix of valued and found objects. Objects made precious by an imaginative reinterpretation of their context and meaning. Objects that bring their own mystery to the work. Objects that invite the spectator to draw their own conclusions.

Most of us have a drawer or tin of objects that hold important meanings. These modern talismans give magic to our memories and meaning to our experiences. Their value is often not in their physical form but in the memories they have captured. Through conversation with the artist Maurie Hughes, the value that you see in these ordinary objects-the meaning derived from where, when or how they came into your possession-can form the basis of a history.

Each history in a box is made in Maurie’s South Melbourne studio. Each captures unique moments in an extraordinary and evocative work of art.

Maurie has a limited number of histories available for purchase that he has fashioned from objects found around south east Australia. Alternatively, Maurie may be available to fashion a more intimate history from the objects you bring to the studio.

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