Future Shock

Home Forums The Lenkiewicz Foundation Future Shock

This topic contains 4 replies, has 2 voices, and was last updated by  billy budd 10 years, 7 months ago. This post has been viewed 925 times

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  • #6329

    billy budd
    Participant

    With the recent reshuffle at TLF we were promised a more open and communicative board, although aside from a statement or two about the auction I've not noticed any increased volume of engagement.You TLF members who lurk on this board, do you intend to outline your vision of what the future for TLF holds? With the final estate sale now out of the way, surely things should be clearer as to what you think you can achieve and what you don't think you can achieve. How about letting the rest of us in on your secret? We're interested to know!

    #9834

    art3366
    Participant

    Fair comment Billy, but the changes have been pretty recent and I guess they are waiting to see what happens to the estate and still formulating their future plans. I would imagine they would wish to avoid going off half cocked. You seem to know a fair bit about lenkiewicz. What would you like to see the new board do?

    #9835

    billy budd
    Participant

    Well Art3366, my view (not that it counts for anything, but as you asked) is that TLF has a number of possibilities open to it, some more realistic and more realisable than others. TLF is a charity and has two roles: the curation and preservation of an art collection, books and an archive, and an educational remit to stimulate interest in obsessive and fanatical behaviour largely through the work of Robert Lenkiewicz.It seems the general expectation (as far as we know) is that TLF will look at setting up a permanent centre at St. Saviour's, as the most likely and accessible place available to it, but there are some significant issues and contraints associated with this idea and we don't know at this stage how much thought has been put into realising such a facility. The issues I refer to are fundamentally those of resources. It seems likely that TLF will inherit a small collection of paintings, the remains of the library, Robert's personal papers and the copyright. St. Saviour's is not the ideal place for the storage and preservation of artwork and papers; it is cold and it is damp, as Robert found. I could envisage a visitor centre there but how would TLF manage and finance it? How would TLF afford the staff, insurance, heating and electricity, modernisation of the building, and so on? It's a lovely idea, but I don't see it attracting funding to be honest. Perhaps they will find some generous benefactor and new home, but none has been forthcoming to date. Robert is still too recent and little known for the larger bodies to be interested in funding a centre and without seeing a significant social benefit locally, they are unlikely to be interested in any case. It is not enough for TLF to go cap in hand saying 'we've got a nice collection, give us some money,' they have to demonstrate its wider significance and possible benefits. Moreover, how would they consider the preservation of the legacy left to them? How would they store the paintings and books? What about conservation? How do they intend to monitor the collection to ensure that it does not deteriorate? There are not enough answers - hence my post hoping that someone from TLF might outline what their current plans are.My view is that TLF should forget the Centre for the Provocation of Thought or any permanent display in Plymouth and focus rather on the dissemination of Robert's life, work and ideas. This is, in my opinion, a far more realistic aim for the Trustees' time and resources and has the potential to reach more people than some small display in Plymouth. The paintings it inherits should be the basis of a loan collection and TLF should work in partnership with museums and galleries, both nationally and potentially internationally, to stage exhibitions highlighting specific themes in Robert's work, or to tie Robert's work into current interests and concerns. Obviously there has been an effort in this direction, but an exhibition should be thought of as one part of the wider educational use of Robert's work, not merely an end in itself. I don't think it's enough to stage an exhibition and think you're fulfilling TLF's educational remit: a far more comprehensive approach needs to be taken. I think TLF should also cease regarding itself as the guardian and mediator of Robert's ideas and legacy and begin to think of itself as a facilitator. By this I mean it should do all it can to make available Robert's writings, project notes, paintings and so on. This does not require any physical location, just a scanner and people with time on their hands. Personally I would like to see a TLF website, outlining Robert's life and with a comprehensive gallery of Robert's paintings, with Robert's written work made available in digital format. Once done, the original documents could be transferred to some archive where they would be preserved under proper conditions. The remaining books I think would be better disposed of to a university library or some such.It seems to me that TLF could better achieve the realisation of their aims by adopting this approach than sticking doggedly to past ideas of buying up half the Barbican for the Centre for the Provocation of thought (I exaggerate, but you get my point). I fear that an insistance on a permanent gallery in Plymouth may well detract from and frustrate the wider application of Robert's work.

    #9836

    art3366
    Participant

    Billy I think some of your ideas are really excellent. I was going to reply by trying to distil your post into a list of what you think TLF should do. But then I reflected and thought it was not my place to do so. But I think if you were willing to do this and maybe produce a list …..in a hierarchy, this could be of help to the trustees of TLF.Your ideas of providing a digital record of the paintings/ pictures

    #9837

    billy budd
    Participant

    Well you've sort of done it already Art 3366. Focus attention in the first place on developing resources for galleries and museums and art colleges, etc., and digitising the papers to make Robert's work as as widely known as possible and open to researchers and those generally interested.Later, when this is established, start thinking about approaching funding bodies. By then TLF should be able to demonstrate the social benefit and worth of the collection by the many partnerships and projects it has been able to nurture.

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