The Museum of Loss and Renewal

Edwin Janssen (Artist), Tracy Mackenna (Artist)

Research output: Non-textual formExhibition


The Museum of Loss and Renewal (TMOLAR) is a mobile discursive platform that creates space for sharing experiences to further the understanding of the challenges faced in individual and communal lives. Key questions evolve around social relationships, the way places are inhabited and how personal objects reflect who we are. Merging production, education and research TMOLAR manifests itself in multiple forms such as exhibitions, public studios, screenings, interdisciplinary public gatherings, residencies and publications. As the curators of this autarchic museum, Mackenna and Janssen develop in collaboration with others art projects that address issues of societal concern such as well-being, aging and sustainability. 

Making Museums: Place & Politics symposium + Helmsdale: Museum for a Day 10/02/2017 and 11/02/2017. The symposium was framed through The Museum of Loss and Renewal’s key concerns and included keynote presentations that positioned museums as active cultural agents, a roundtable discussion on collecting and collections today, a series of discursive sessions that offered the opportunity to critically explore some of the key issues regional museums are faced with, and debates on the role of museums in connection with historical and current issues around displacement and migration. TMOLAR curated a programme of activities and events and determined the aesthetic environment.

Curated Residency Programme 2017-. The Museum of Loss and Renewal Residency Programme (Italy) offers creative practitioners and researchers space, time and context to enable exploration of their interests within the framework of TMOLAR’s areas of focus. Residents are selected based on research proposals that indicate how the work to be undertaken will address the research questions posed by TMOLAR. The outcomes will be shared in a series of publications (2018 -). Marwan Moujaes’ (Lebanon) residency was offered in collaboration with artconnexion, Lille and funded by the Institut Français. Drawing on the history of the region, the ancient and contemporary migratory context and the ‘sublime’ of the landscapes, he produced in collaboration with Maha Yammine dialogues and assemblages to enable the design of new approaches to landscapes with the inhabitants of the region. Lee Hassall walked, drew, worked - with still and moving images - and was silent. He used judiciously ‘performed’, carefully ‘attuned’ (spoken) text to layer, alter, shatter, and/or transform normative modes of relating to and representing the picturesque1, landscape or place. Additional artists included The Collective Responsible For, David Mackay and Jamie Watt.

Notes On A Changing Place 08/09/2017-03/11/2017. Mary Slessor Gardens, DundeeTaking the ideas that underpin The Museum of Loss and Renewal as their starting point and using a wide range of historical and personal references Mackenna and Janssen produced a series of posters and a publication as part of their contribution to the Sharing Not Hoarding (SNH) public art project. SNH is an experimental public art project in Dundee's Waterfront Development. Using 18 4-sheet billboard posters, the project provided opportunities for artists and the wider public to participate in the Waterfront Development, to raise questions about our collective future, and to celebrate a diversity of voices and visions for the city. Combining drawing, photography and collage techniques the posters offered an idiosyncratic view of Dundee and its continual reinvention. The artwork celebrated Dundee and its inhabitants by questioning preconceived ideas. Notes on a Changing Place: a Gathering was a public engagement event hosted by TMOLAR in collaboration with MFA Art, Society & Publics students (DJCAD, UoD), The McManus, Dundee’s Art Gallery & Museum, 31/10/2017. Reflecting SNH and TMOLAR’s joint ambition to reach a variety of audiences, the posters were used as conversation pieces to explore the arts’ reflective and critical role against the backdrop of Dundee’s reimagining.

Jo, Josephine, Giuseppina and Tracy In the video artwork ‘Jo, Josephine, Giuseppina and Tracy’ (image and sound, 6:53) the affective and multi-sensory aspects of walking are presented as able to stimulate on-site experimentation in textual and image-based language processes. Filmed at TMOLAR’s Italian base, societal issues such as assimilation, national identity, aging and gender are conveyed. UK Première, ‘Walking Women’, a programme of events placing women at the centre of discussions and debates about walking and art, in ‘UTOPIA 2016: A Year of Imagination and Possibility - marking the 500th anniversary of Thomas More’s influential text’, Somerset House, London 16-17/07/2016. Public Talk during ‘Walking Women’, Forest Fringe, Edinburgh International Festival (11/07/2016). Scottish première, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, curated session ‘Self Registration’, exploring how one occupies space through the formation of groups or individual expression 02-05/03/2017. Public Talk, Alchemy Film and Moving Image Festival, 04/03/2017. Academic paper ‘Language, Lips and Love: writing on the hoof’ in the conference ‘A Suitcase of her own - women and travel’, Dept of Postcolonial Studies and Travel Literatures, Institute of English Cultures and Literatures, University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland 20-23/09/2017 and publication in the peer-reviewed monograph (2018). 

Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2017


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