Hello, Elisha here!
So just over a week ago I attended a development session at Moyse’s Hall Museum, Bury St Edmunds, on the Creative Heritage and Art in Mind (CHIM) project. This is a project led by artist, Juliet Lockhart, which aims to encourage those with mental health difficulties to use museum collections and art to develop their confidence, skills and links to the local community. The project wants to see those who would not ordinarily engage with museum collections coming and telling their own personal stories through their art. It was eye-opening to hear testimonies from those who had benefited from the programme, and reinforced my belief that museums can play an important part in improving well-being. CHIM allows a safe, stimulating and therapeutic space for those who need it.
During the session, not only did we get to take part in fun and thought provoking activities (I got to try my hand at role playing being an engineer and painting a ridiculous face), we also got to look around Moyse’s Hall. I had never been there before and so was really excited by this. The museum did not disappoint. Although it is relatively small, the collections are fascinating and I couldn’t quite believe the gibbet cage (used to display the hanged remains of a criminal) or the lock of Mary Tudor’s hair. There was also a Lego exhibition, which brought out the big kid in all of us…
Back in Colchester as part of the our Faces of Colchester exhibition, we’ve been holding a series of related events. ‘Faces Up Late’ invited members of the public along for an evening at Hollytrees Museum. There were talks by the wonderful Emma (Collections and Learning Curator), portrait drawing sessions and also wine and cheese tasting (all staff agreed on their favourite cheese, which proved very popular…). Scott and I delivered our ‘Out of the Box’ sessions, something we have been planning and researching over the last few months. Mine was on deputy curator, H.W Poulter and I had a great time telling the public some of the things he got up to. Now that our ‘Out of the Box’ projects are all finished, I have sadly had to say goodbye to Poulter, who I’ve grown quite fond of!
I still have many more exciting things to talk about, but I had better stop there before this turns into a dissertation. Check back next week for more updates, which will include hieroglyphs. Lots of hieroglyphs.