The Talisman Stacking project is a body of work created as part of the William Morris; Wallpaper Man Exhibition by the Storybox Collective and the William Morris Society. The project is a collaboration between Maisie Noble and her partner Ben Lee.
By unravelling the wealth within the archive, the artists unearthed patterns and notions that led them to question how 21st century technology is altering an individual’s sense of place. A moment of inspiration came from Morris’s translations of Icelandic Sagas when May Morris, his daughter, wrote that “something deeply rooted in [him] found the world of the North familiar”, tethering him to Celtic and Pagan folklore and their grounding in nature. Both artists, being of Welsh heritage, identify with the premise of being tethered to a place. The Welsh word ‘Hiraeth’, having no direct translation in English, expresses a deep longing for home and a nostalgia for something lost that cannot be reclaimed.
Emerging technologies are igniting global conversations, uniting cultural narratives across the earth. For the artists, rituals and conventions are now being both subverted and re-realised through globalisation, enabling humankind to become ever more enfolded. Our lives are now the product of shared experiences, transcending both digital and geographical boundaries. The Talisman Stacking Project invites participants to explore the social and environmental possibilities of open source online repositories. It was born from a desire to re-ground participants’ sense of place and tap into unique and shared nostalgias to create an open resource. It is a bank of digital modular artefact templates that can be downloaded, uploaded and 3D printed, enabling users to create personalised totemic structures. This project celebrates the idea that technology can be a tool to liberate an individual’s creativity or accelerate craft skills, whilst having positive social impact