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King’s Lynn Arts Centre hosts innovative Lost and Found project

  • Date: 27 January 2010
  • Area: South East
A letter submitted to the Lost and Found Bureau and Repository

A letter submitted to the Lost and Found Bureau and Repository. Credit: Image courtesy of the King's Lynn Arts Centre

Members of the public are getting involved with an innovative arts project at King's Lynn Arts Centre. The Lost and Found Bureau and Repository is occupying a specially prepared exhibition space at the Arts Centre and is calling for contributions of items from the community.

Items for Lost and Found can include anything that has been lost or found, such as a curious object that has been found on the street or a story or memory about an object or person that has been lost. Project Artist Karl Foster said: 'There is no right or wrong approach to the ideas around the losing or finding of things. Everything is shown with equal status or value. All we are asking the public to do is look and think about the everyday things we are often too busy to notice. We hope that they will share in this process'.

Items are ceremoniously received on a red velvet cushion held by a white gloved bureau clerk, before being photographed and listed in a grand ledger and transferred to the Lost and Found Repository. Contributors can enjoy refreshments while their item is catalogued before going to the adjacent repository to select where their item and accompanying story is displayed.

Lost and Found has so far received an excellent response from the public. Liz Falconbridge, Arts and Education Manager at the King's Lynn Arts Centre said: 'The project has captured the imagination of the public in a way that was unpredictable. They have really enjoyed the process of contributing an object, the respect and attention they are given and the opportunity to tell their story. So much so that some people have come back to give more.' 

The ritualised process of receiving and displaying the items is a way of examining how easily the value of things can change. The items will be displayed for five weeks, after which the ledger will be studied by the repository team for emerging themes. The creative apprentices involved in the project will use a 'do-it-yourself' publishing website to create a legacy book inspired by the Lost and Found items.

Lost and Found is part of Aspire, an Arts Council England funded project involving nationally acclaimed artists, local artists, creative apprentices, young people and the community. At the apex of the East project is London based artist Richard Layzell who is supported by regional artists Lyndall Phelps from Ely and Karl Foster from Norwich. Lost and Found's three local artists are Kate Hodges from Norwich, Linda Roast from Castle Acre and Karin Forman from North Barsham.

Members of the public are encouraged to view the collection even if they don't wish to participate. The Lost and Found Bureau and Repository will be open at the King's Lynn Arts Centre from 16 January - 20 February. Opening times are Tue - Sat 11am-4pm. 

For more details see www.kingslynnarts.co.uk/galleries.php