Tuesday, 28 August 2018

A box of memories and leftovers

Treasures and Boxes

 a cupboard full of wonders

Buxton Museum and Art Gallery

there was a lot of debris
As part of the BM125 activities, on Sunday 26th, Buxton Museum and Art Gallery hosted a Cabinets of Curiosity workshop. The current exhibition in Gallery 2 is Collectors and Curiosities, looking back at some of the  exhibits from the Museum's early days that are not often displayed today. Leather bottles and beautiful paintings stand next to a few Victorian marvels – butterfly cabinets and massed birds that were good for getting us all talking about what we valued and what was appropriate to collects (sibling’s skeletons, as you will see, are clearly exempt, as are large mammals - if perhaps tricky to accommodate).

Some 90 people joined us to make their own, small, portable cabinets – instructions for making your own will follow shortly!

For now, let’s celebrate the richness of a rainy Sunday in the summer with people’s memories full of holiday treasures to value…

We asked “What are your treasures? What will you keep in your Cabinet of Curiosity?” …shaken, sieved and stirred, the answers follow…. Try reading it aloud

Shells and gems and dried cicadas,
Stick insects if they ever stayed still long enough,
Or maybe just sticks.

Leaves and sticks and stones,
And rocks,
And sticks again sometimes.

Rocks and feathers,
And fossils.
And sea glass from a wide, windy beach.

Cows, obviously,
And horses, maybe.
Pottery, Lego, coins,
Shells again,
Holiday treasures,
With sand from sunny places.

Cars and squishies and rubbers,
Because a special collection needs a special box.

And cryestels
And sharks teeth and other bones.
I collect shark’s teeth you see.
I have a lot of them.

There will be feathers and bones,
In my cupboard,
And my brother's bones
And my sister's skull.
I have fossils from Robin Hood’s Bay,
And Lyme Regis where I found an ammonite,
Lots of tiny ammonites,
And one big one that will be too big for this.

This Cabinet will be full of memories.
This Cabinet will be full of leftovers.
This Cabinet will be a Museum for Bears,
This Cabinet will hold Treasures and Taonga*.
This Cabinet will hold inspiration for my own creativity

There will be more BM125 events coming up and work from our group of new artists to explore as well, so keep an eye on the Museum facebook page , the Creeping Toad fb page, this blog and the Museum blog

*Taonga: a Maori word for a treasure: "an object or natural resource that is highly prized"

With many thanks to all our Cabinet-makers - we hope your cabinets fill with treasures and curiosities and feed conversations, imaginations and wild speculations - and apologies for not managing to display ALL the Cabinets here!

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