New work from eight artists inspired by the unique objects and stories found in community-led museums is going on display at The Museum of Somerset in Taunton.
Since May the artists have been working with small volunteer-run museums in Somerset and Devon as part of the ‘MUSE: Makers in Museums’ project. Through their creative re-interpretations the artists have brought historic artefacts into the modern day.
Industrial heritage from Chard, Axminster carpets, Teignmouth ship building and excavations at Wookey Hole are amongst the stories represented.
The art works will be on display at The Museum of Somerset from Saturday 11th November to Saturday 3rd February and the exhibition is free to enter.
Rachel Bellamy from the South West Heritage Trust said: “The exhibition showcases contemporary craft and many of the stories highlighted are linked to historic crafts or rural industries. Art works include a huge lurking black crocodile and eight little clockwork cinemas.”
Erica Steer, Executive Director, Devon Guild of Craftsmen said: “This project has provided an important opportunity for the selected artists to create exciting new work, to be inspired by the collections and, in turn, to inspire visitors to the museums.”
Phil Gibby, Area Director, South West, Arts Council England, said: “We’re very pleased to support this project through our National Lottery funded Grants for the Arts programme which provides new experiences for the museums involved and the contemporary artists. These cross-discipline collaborations open up more possibilities for interesting and exciting creative work, benefiting the public, artists and practitioners that work across these boundaries. ‘MUSE: Makers in Museums’ helps to achieve our mission for more people in more places to experience, participate and be inspired by arts and culture.”
Nerys Watts, Head of the Heritage Lottery Fund South West, said: “Thanks to £33,200 raised by National Lottery players, this exciting exhibition is set to provide a creative gateway for communities to explore the heritage treasures in their local museums.”
The project was awarded more than £80,000 by Arts Council England and the Heritage Lottery Fund, thanks to money raised by National Lottery players. It has been led by the South West Heritage Trust in partnership with the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Somerset Art Works and the Community Museums Development Officer for Devon.
Participating museums in Somerset are Axbridge and District Museum, Bruton Museum, Chard and District Museum, and Wells and Mendip Museum. In Devon they are Axminster Heritage, Teign Heritage Centre, The Museum of Dartmoor Life, and Kingsbridge Cookworthy Museum.
For more information visit https://musemakers.wordpress.com/