Laura Potter

All work © 1997-2015

Charlotte's Choice: Commission (museumaker)

One of three commissions produced during the museumaker Pas de deux project, in collaboration with Lin Cheung. This piece was made for Charlotte Wood.

Charlotte’s piece is a response to the complex issues of identity over time, and of public versus private ownership. Lin Cheung and I produced two sets of cast beads from carob seeds that are ‘equivalent’, but not identical. The difference comes through the materials; one set of beads is silver and the other is gold. The carob seed was chosen because it is thought to be the origin of the ‘carat’, an enduring measure of purity or mass. Charlotte was asked which set of beads she preferred, and was then given that set as her commission. However, people's tastes, preferences and circumstances change. We therefore constructed a mechanism whereby both Charlotte and The Museum are asked to acknowledge that such changes will occur, allowing an older Charlotte to decide differently at an unspecified future time.

Charlotte chose the gold beads, but she (along with The Museum) has signed an agreement allowing her to exchange her beads for the ones in The Museum collection annually, if she wishes. The contract itself is the real final piece, and together with the process of negotiating and recording this relationship between Charlotte and The Museum, forms part of the ongoing life of the objects.