Staffages (2018)

Staffages (2018) 22 June – 8 September

Last summer artist Steffi Klenz was given access to the collections and buildings of the Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery and Adult Education Centre and commissioned to develop a body of work exploring new correlations between the work of the museum, art gallery, library and Adult Education Centre. The result is an exhibition of new photographic works illuminating the connections between museum object, site and viewer. ‘Staffages (2018)’ runs from Friday 22 June until Sunday 8 September.

Staffages (2018) photo of museum objects

Klenz’s photographic work, Staffages (2018) explores how the meaning of objects and images can change as they pass through the hands of artists and collectors and redisplays objects from the collection in new set ups, crossing time and sites. Removed from their previous context and redisplayed in different ways, objects and their meaning evolve into something new. The collection is no longer static and by making new connections between object, site and viewer the artist suggests a conceptual as well as a physical space.

‘Staffages’ refers to the use, in the late 1700s  and early 1800s,  of human and animal figures in painting that were not regarded as the primary subject matter of the work. Staffage (Beiwerk) in German means "accessories" or "decoration" referring to the descriptive term for figures to whom no specific identity or story is attached which are included merely for compositional or decorative reasons. Staffages are accessories to the scene, yet add life to the work and reinforce the main subject.

Press Release (236.8 KB)

Contact: Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery

Phone: 01892 554171

Email: museum@tunbridgewells.gov.uk