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What is Worthwhile Doing in this World
16 March 2019 until 26 April 2019
A solo exhibition by Whitney McVeigh.
Whitney McVeigh reaches into the Bute Archive, traditionally the realm of a patriarchal narrative, and focuses on intimate traces of the history of women in the house, in particular Gwendolen Crichton Stuart, 3rd Marchioness of Bute (1854-1932) and Augusta Crichton Stuart DBE, 4th Marchioness of Bute (1880-1947). The exhibition is an opportunity to bring the archive into the public space, an encounter that alludes to layers of time and celebrates our universality.
McVeigh’s practice is concerned with identity, memory and the collective unconscious. She refers to the “archaeology of memory” as a central concept in her work, and the belief that energy, in accordance with particle physics, never dies.
In this show she presents curated assemblages of archive material and objects, and a selection of books from the 25,000 publications in the Mount Stuart library, together with her own open letter and texts addressed to the public reader and inscribed on brass plaques placed throughout the house. A speech given by Augusta in 1934 to the North Bute Literary Society forms the basis for an installation She Was Known to You made in collaboration with actor Maureen Beattie.