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Research Centre
Art and Design Research Centre


KeyPiece was a combined public exhibition and research event bringing together leading metalworking practitioners and their work in November 2009

The project was developed by Cóilín O’Dubhghaill, Christoph Zellweger, Maria Hanson, and documented by Nicola Wood and Monica Gaspar. The project aimed to foster dialogue between the practitioners, examining cognitive processes related to moments of passage, recognition and decision-making in the creative process. The project used an innovative exhibition format enabling engagement with the public whilst still maintaining a seminar space. The exhibits were placed on a long plinth which divided the gallery space; one half public space, the other workshop setting, with paper covering walls and floor for participants to write and draw.

The exhibited pieces provided the basis for discussion between the makers, along with other pieces brought along by the makers that were considered significant but not necessarily suitable for exhibition. The question of how a keypiece can be identified and defined led the makers to develop an understanding of the different roles that objects they make play within their practice.

This project was funded by Arts Council England and the ADRC.

Researchers involved

Professor Christoph Zellweger - Professor of Art and Design

Dr Cóilín O'Dubhghaill - Senior Research Fellow in Metalwork and Jewellery

Maria Hanson - Reader in Metalwork and Jewellery

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