The Bowes Museum was conceived by John and Joséphine Bowes. Joséphine laid the first stone in 1869, but both would not live to see the completion of their building.
I will be researching and developing a commission in response to Joséphine’s health, who during the museum build, grew sicker and continued taking potassium sulphide baths, laced with sulphuric acid, that turned her nails black; ‘she grew ever more neurotic, she was terrified of mice but developed a liking for rooks’.
Like Joséphine, I will spend time with rooks, as part of the research-driven art practice; watching, listening, recording, and photographing these birds. I will also work closely with The Bowes Museum Archive and Library, searching for letters that remark on Joséphine’s health and behaviour, and respond to these texts through explorations in sound, photography and writing, which will be applied to the Museum interior.