Proximity Collective 2019

Picture This (collage)NB: P.I.P (post-in-progress)

Three objects were selected from MMU Special Collections to correspond in some way with the three-part Proximity Collective residencies of 2019. The first was Drummund Masterton’s ‘Etive’. The first time that I encountered the small hand-held sculpture was in an MMU Research Development Programe writing class two years earlier. The cross-section and radiating interior of the metal landscape in a cup, said something of the containment and also the radiating potential of my study of German artist, Kurt Schwitters.


                               Etive, Drummond Masterton (2012) aluminium


The Philip Granville Poster Collection at MMU Special Collections connects to Schwitters, in that Philip Granville became Schwitters’s art dealer, shortly after his death. On the basis of this proximity, a Gunter Rambow poster ‘ZUM RAUM WIRD HIER DIE ZEIT (TO SPACE COMES HERE THE TIME) WAGNER: PARCIFAL’ was selected from this collection, the choice of which was reinforced by the German language connection to Schwitters.



*Two headless female terracotta figures resonated from their storage shelves with Schwitters’s story of Auguste Bolte. The cover image of this story is a headless female dress display mannequin. The all too familiar sight of the headless fictional female is a status which demands further clarification. In this case it is a convoluted allusion which is accounted for in the introduction of this ‘Tran’ text. It is one of a series in which Schwitters takes aim at his critics. Otto Ast’s replica terracotta Tanagra figurines seem to have lost their heads perhaps in transit.



Auguste Bolte, Sprengel Museum Archive, Hanover (2019) with Schwitters’s portrait overhead.

The three elements were positioned in proximity to each other and photographed. Each image suggested a different narrative with the slightest alteration of the objects’ proxemics. In the absence of full permission to publish the photographed assemblages, the idea opened up of a short text to account for the most effective results. The background and frame offer no direct clues. The reader is invited to imagine and maybe draw what comes to mind from the words in Picture This.

Picture This (collage)

Picture This is one of six pieces of work by Proximity Collective artists for a Zine, which will be distributed at the end of residency event at Paradise Works:




Venture Arts Project Space, Manchester: August 2019

Islington Mill Project Space, Salford: October 2019

Paradise Works, Salford: December 2019


Further Information

Drummond Masterton:

Click to access langproc_catalogue.pdf


Gunter Rambow:


Otto Ast:

(N448).Terracotta reproductions of Tanagra figures. Modelled c 1885 by Otto Ast for Fritz Gurlitt, Berlin. The Manchester School of Art Collection, Manchester Metropolitan University Special Collections



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