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  • Making-Do

Image credit © Elspeth Owen


Broken pieces. Shards of clay.  After the splintering, fragments cry out to be put back together again. Just lying there, the shards provoke a longing to repair, to mend, to make do. All the zoological specimens here are ingeniously held together, put back together with bolts and glue and tendons. Here, beside an elephant bird’s egg miraculously re-assembled by David Attenborough, I have placed an intact clay egg. I have scattered the shards of another ‘egg’ through the displays, to remind you how easily everything breaks and how often there is a chance to gather up, to mend, to re-create.


With a long-established studio in Grantchester, near Cambridge, Elspeth’s work has been shown worldwide, and is held in the permanent collections of the Fitzwilliam Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.


Header image: Egg © Elspeth Owen

Content image: Egg © Elspeth Owen

We hope that you enjoy these three films connected to the exhibition:

1. BBC Zoo Quest film with Sir David Attenborough rebuiding the elephant bird egg

2. Make, Do and Mend with Elspeth Owen

3. Unavoidable Knowledge with Elspeth Owen

The Massive Elephant Bird Egg | Zoo Quest to Madagascar | BBC Earth
Make, Do and Mend | Elspeth Owen with Sally Connie Todd | Breaking Point
Elspeth Owen: Unavoidable knowledge