MARIE-LOUISE PLUM

VISUAL ART + WORDS + SOUNDS

Old Father Thames

Recording the liquid history of London's River Thames.

 

LINK: Research & Writing

 

Old Father Thames documents my investigations into the liquid history of London's tidal River Thames. As a standard license holder, I am allowed to search the foreshore of the Thames, by eye and also digging up to 3 inches, for long-forgotten treasure of social history.

 

My favourite items to find are those which carry clues, leading me back to makers, families, organisations and industry. I record my most specialised or rarer finds with the Museum of London, and belong to a mudlark and metal detecting society, called Thames and Field.

 

Click on the link above and you will find my research and writing on the topic of mudlarking. I'm always asked what my 'best' finds are; personally, I have a soft spot for buttons with makers marks, hand forged tools, and anything that gives me a 'lead' to find out more. However, I suppose my 'best finds', considered so by others, are items like the hand engraved ships dividers, Veronique pilgrim's badge, 17th century tokens, seal matrix, 17th century love tokens...and more.

 

I get down to the river at least once a week, and try to share as much online as possible.

 

 

 

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Recording the forgotten, searching

for new meaning.

 

LINK: Research & Writing

 

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Favourite Graves

Mental Spaghetti

Promoting art from the margins, encouraging artistic practice for all.

 

LINK: Research & Writing

 

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Favourite Graves is my investigation into the dead and the art of dying.

 

As a website concept, it’s pretty self-explanatory: Favourite Graves is an online photographic archive of resting places, not restricted to cemeteries and churchyards, but also roadside shrines, memorials, marked land, burial sites and so on, collected from the UK and Europe since 2008.

 

As an art project, Favourite Graves is more complex. What started as hobbyist collecting, shared originally as a blog, developing as social media changed, has grown into a sprawling research project.

 

In addition to covering aesthetic interests of unique grave decoration, curious epitaphs and symbolism, the more time spent alone with the resting meant the project has developed into a mission to decipher what the dead mean to the living, and in particular, in relation to the times we are living in today.

 

“We know the living – they are there: physical, tangible, as is our output as humans… strands, visible truths, knowns and unknowns, relations, shared experiences, memories. But what are the connections in death?

 

After the funeral, after the celebration of their life, after being laid to rest. What does a grave we stumble across, perhaps with our own birthdate, a similar name, place of birth – what does that mean to us, and how far do we get involved with this memory of a person?”

 

Please note that any requests for the removal of photographs from this website will be considered. It is not the intention of the artist to cause offence or invade the privacy of grave dwellers, owners, or their families.

Mental Spaghetti promotes marginalised artists, encourages participation in the arts, and works in partnership with likeminded organisations and institutions.  

 

Its purpose is to use a strong online presence as a platform for marginalised artists, and further empower artists to develop their professional practice.

 

I curate group exhibitions, to showcase marginalised artists, often working in partnership with likeminded organisations and institutions.

 

Mental Spaghetti facilitates creative workshops and collaborative art projects for all, with a committed focus on inclusivity.

 

I also work with art organisations, community outreach groups and clinical institutions to encourage provocative dialogues about art from marginalised artists, mental health and social exclusion, through arts and other means.

 

To find out more about our backstory and purpose, please visit this link.