TRANSIENT is used to describe the passing of time but can also be related to a Japanese expression, mono no aware, which describes the feeling of transience. The phrase literally translates as ‘the pathos of things’ and can also be explained as ‘a sensitivity of ephemera’. The saying is used to describe the awareness of the transience of things and a bittersweet sadness at their passing.
The museum houses a large array of objects and artefacts relating to Leeds’ Industrial history. The work in TRANSIENT deals with objects and materials which are part of that role, many of which are in the archives, and also items such as the cardboard boxes and the cabinets, which are used in the storage and display processes. TRANSIENT raises questions about our documentation of history and how museums construct ideologies and identities by how the past is put on public display.
The work showing at the gallery was produced by the artist over a 3 month residency in response to the collections, the archives and of the space of Armley Mill.