Halton Borough is a place of two halves; Runcorn and Widnes divided by the scouring waters of the River Mersey that surge through the narrowed sandstone gap. There are four public collections, held at Norton Priory, Catalyst Museum, Halton Town Hall and Widnes Library. Together these tell the tale of a rich and diverse heritage; a unique mix of religious, industrial, social and civic objects, ephemera and documents which will never come together as one physical museum.
For her MA project, ‘we, together | Exploring Halton’s Collections’ and as Artist in Residence, Jeni McConnell was given the freedom to research all four collections, working directly with the objects and documents within the venues and out and about around Halton. She created playful interventions and displays, and led discussions and workshops to bring this diverse set of collections together to express and reflect on the heritage of the region. She also made her own works in response.
Her final solo exhibition, the culmination of detailed research, responded to the strong evidence of the significant relationship that the geology and geography of this place have to Halton’s heritage, and its collections; making use of the local raw materials of salt, coal and water, which shaped Halton’s industrial heritage to where it is today.
Years of study 2008 – 2010