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Roy Ridsdale - Artist & Illustrator

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Roy Ridsdale RCA - Artist and Illustrator

Roy Ridsdale is an artist who has been making sketches of the objects at Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust and The Hawley Tool Collection.

In this guest blog post he tells us more...

Having a background in the craft areas of Silversmithing and Jewellery, I have always been interested in hand craft processes, the relationship between man and machine, and the tools used.

This together with a long standing interest in the industrial heritage of Sheffield and my art and design education (at the Royal College of Art, London), led me to resurrect this interest as an artist, and took me to Kelham Island Museum and The Hawley Tool Collection, also based at the Museum.

The museum and collections staff facilitated opportunities for me to begin making drawings of the tools, machinery and mechanisms at Kelham Island Museum. The massive structures and mechanisms are an enormous challenge to any draughtsperson, who must reflect the character of these subjects to capture the visual strength and presence they have.

The Hawley Tool Collection has also been very enthusiastic and supportive of my work and made it possible for me to study and draw objects in their collection.

My drawings explore image and text together with the ‘contre jour’ (against the light) approach to the use of light, to define the object and to prompt the viewer to explore the image and in doing so, seeing hand tools and machinery differently.

This raises an awareness of these objects as abstract forms without an identity or attachment to function or purpose. Themes of spirituality and symbolism are found in the objects and referred to through philosophical statements from Shakespeare and Einstein to Frederick Franck and Truman Capote. Narrative text is used to enliven objects and provide a reason for their being ‘chosen’.

In the near future, I will be making drawings at Abbeydale Industrial Hamlet.

Posted in Sheffield Industrial Museums Trust | Kelham Island Museum

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