Highland institute for Contemporary Art (HICA), Dalcrombie, Loch Ruthven

24 September- 30 October 2011

A mobile, durational project exploring the role of art in issues around wellbeing, end of life, material culture and memory

The Museum of Loss and Renewal is a partnership with The Highland Hospice



The Museum of Loss and Renewal: Loss Becomes Object

The exhibition Loss becomes Object, the first part of The Museum of Loss and Renewal project, was launched at HICA with a series of talks. Paula McCormack, Director of Clinical and Education Services for The Highland Hospice talked about the work of the organisation; Emma Nicolson, Director of ATLAS, presented context-specific art practice; Tracy Mackenna and Edwin Janssen discussed the development of The Museum of Loss and Renewal, and its central issues.

The first two manifestations of The Museum of Loss and Renewal, Loss Becomes Object and Object Becomes Subject, focus on the interrelationships between death, memory, material culture and recycling. During a prolonged period of engagement with The Highland Hospice charity shops and by working with artefacts donated to them, we are investigating issues recurrent in our work; the value and significance of objects, life and death, and artist-led curatorial practice. By looking at and re-presenting items such as clothes, music, videos, books and bric-a-brac as part of a process of re-cycling, we continue to question the value of ‘things’, and how these determine and reflect identities and histories. This inquiry follows on from work made in response to our own familial experiences of death, represented in work such as Life is Over! if you want it.

Loss becomes Object consisted of two cardboard display cases, Life is Short, Art Long and Forces of Attraction and Repulsion, that contained a series of artefacts collected in The Highland Hospice charity shops and juxtaposed with associative material, resulting in a series of still-life groupings that provoked reflections on issues of loss, death, recycling and appropriation. A work in progress, the slide projection No Neutral Representations, is a series of written notebook pages with associated printed postcard images. The poster Loss becomes Object, if you want it! continues our ongoing work The John and Yoko Drawings, the slogan setting the framework for the exhibition.  

See the publication Loss becomes Object becomes Subject (2013) that documents the first two parts of The Museum of Loss and Renewal, designed in collaboration with Stout/Kramer.

HICA’s publication Exhibitions 2011 contains an essay on Loss becomes Object by Duncan McLaren.

Object Becomes Subject

The Highland Hospice Shops

Life is Over! if you want it

No Neutral Representations

The Museum of Loss and Renewal is supported by

Creative Scotland

The Henry Moore Foundation

The Carnegie Trust for the Universities of Scotland

Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership

The International Society of Addiction Medicine (isamDUNDEE 2015)

Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design Research, University of Dundee