Museum of Garden History, London
26 May - 30 June 2006
Lisa Cheung was the first artist in residence at the Museum of Garden History, where she explored the archives, piecing together the stories behind the objects donated to the Museum.
Investigating the notions of collecting, garden history and personal stories and memories, the artist researched and interviewed the many people who have contributed in some way to the archives and collection of the Museum.
'These distant pieces behind display cases suddenly became alive to me when I learned about the different people who owned them; what they did, where they lived and how they lived. Within each object, there is a memory of the former owner(s) and it is this sense of the identity and personal history that I am interested in. Throughout my research and interviews, I met a diverse range of people: from grandfathers to children, photographers to writers, sea captains to gardeners, all have a passion for life and their gardens. When recounting memories, fact and fiction tend to merge together to a certain extent, with details vague and embellishments liberal. But that doesn't really matter. It is not the accuracy of the memories that is important, but rather it is their personal attachment to the owner that makes them remembered and treasured, and their ability to resonant privately as well as collectively that makes them remarkable'. Lisa Cheung
Whispering Roseswas the result of this residency: an audio guide that offers a glimpse of the lives of some of the individuals who have donated objects and ephemera to the Museum. The soundtrack plays with fact and fiction, memories and the present, and celebrates the lives of these very special people. The audio guide was also accompanied by a small publication.
Lisa Cheung graduated from Goldsmiths College. Her general practice explores how art can influence the cultural and social transformation of individuals and communities. She has shown widely around the UK and taken part in exhibitions in Germany, Spain, Israel, Canada and Brazil.
Whispering Roses was supported by Arts Council England, Parabola and the Museum of Garden History. The project was curated by Danielle Arnaud, Parabola.