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In Conversation with Bill Hooks

A display by Alice Blackstock and Philip Crewe
January 31, 2023 - May 7, 2023


January 31, 2023
May 7, 2023
Museum Opening Hours
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The Museum of English Rural Life
The Museum of English Rural Life, Redlands Road
Reading, Berkshire RG1 5EX United Kingdom
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A small bill hook with a wooden handle lying on top of a larger blade

This display in the Digging Deeper gallery at The MERL links to a collaborative recent project between artist Alice Blackstock and designer/maker Philip Crewe that investigated a bladed tool called a billhook.

The 2019 collaboration was initiated by a visit to the extensive collections of The MERL and developed into the creation of five object sets that explore the loss of purpose, material, and skills associated with the billhook. In a wider context, this work considers the shift in the conversation about craft and our relationship to objects. The research is centred around material held at The MERL, the collection compiled by collector Robert Burgess and John Manners’ work on Country Crafts.