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Title: Understanding Pacific feather artefacts through drawing
Author: Jewell, Rebecca
ISNI:       0000 0004 2729 7596
Awarding Body: Royal College of Art
Current Institution: Royal College of Art
Date of Award: 2004
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The thesis is focused on the illustration of feather artefacts from some of the Pacific Islands that are held in the collections of the British Museum, and it is in two parts. The first part is composed of my drawings, supported by annotations, sketches, prints, paintings and photographs. The artefacts were drawn and then, from examining study skins at the Natural History Museum, Tring, the birds that were killed to make them were identified and drawn. The images of the artefacts and of the bird skins are used to show what can be achieved through drawing and how the representations can be of use to the artist, anthropologist, curator, and museum visitor. In addition, I relate my drawings to the records of earlier artists, in particular those from Cook's voyages to the Pacific in the eighteenth century and to the drawings of Sarah Stone (c.1760-1844) who painted objects in the Leverian Museum. In the second part of the thesis, I discuss how natural history illustration has provided models for ethnographic illustration, how the use of drawings by social anthropologists and museum curators has helped in the description and analysis of artefacts, what it means to produce new images, and what informs the artist in the twenty-first century. Finally I give an overview of some of the birds in the South Pacific that are hunted for their feathers. Wild birds have always been an important part of the Pacific islanders' spiritual and material culture, and enormous value is placed on the feathers themselves and the artefacts made from them. Over-hunting, however, has caused the extinction of some species and others are seriously endangered. Many aspects of indigenous cultures depend on the survival of the native birdlife, but equally the birdlife is dependent on the indigenous culture if it is going to survive.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available