Special Exhibition

Alchemy: Artefacts Reimagined

28 May – 5 September 2021

Wessex Museums invited artist Ann-Marie James to explore the collections of our four partner museums, then choose an object from each to inspire a series of new artworks.

The result is Alchemy, an exhibition that uncovers new meanings in our collections – and creatively illuminates the significance of Wessex.

Themes and techniques

Ann-Marie James spent a year ‘reimagining’ these artefacts to create the new artworks. All the pieces are in gold and/or white – gold from the Bush Barrow Lozenge and the tale of Bacchus and Midas, white from the chalk that the Amesbury Archer was found in, and the white of the Roman mosaic.

Her techniques included drawing, painting, printmaking, and gilding with 24ct gold. For ‘Bacchus’, she shaved a Roman mosaic design into a cream rug.

We hope Alchemy inspires you to look at our collections differently and to reimagine the connections between our past and present.

Bush Barrow lozenge
Bush Barrow lozenge
  • Opening hours:

    Daily: 9.00am - 4.30pm
    Sunday: 10.00am - 4.00pm
    Bank Holidays: 10.00am - 4.00pm

  • Admissions:

    Annual Pass or Day Entry available

    Book now
  • Dorset Museum

    High West Street
    Dorchester DT1 1XA

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The Wessex Museums Partnership invited Ann-Marie James to explore Dorset Museum’s collections and those of our three partner museums (Poole Museum, Salisbury Museum and Wiltshire Museum) and choose an object from each to inspire a series of artworks.


Exhibition Information

Location: Special Exhibitions

Museum Map

This exhibition is included as a part of your entrance timed ticket.

Special Exhibition

28 May – 30 October 2022

Take a fresh look at the Victorian novelist and poet, Thomas Hardy, in the stunning Wessex landscapes that shaped his view of the world. His story will be retold in exciting new ways by our museum collections, from period costumes to personal letters, art to archaeology.

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FULLY BOOKED

17 June - 11 July 2022, 10:00am - 1:00pm

Hardy’s Wessex: Drawing on the ancient past

This six-week course led by artist Helen Garrett will take you on a creative journey through Thomas Hardy’s work, inspirations and Dorset Museum’s collections.

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Community Exhibition

20 June – 16 September 2022

Plastics are not Fantastic

In this exhibition students from Weymouth College express their thoughts about the environment through posters, pledges and artwork.

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Family Activity

3 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Create your own Victorian silhouette and Victorian style frame. Make your own drawn or painted Victorian portrait based inspired by the Hardy's Wessex exhibition, the Hardy's Gallery and portraits in the Artists' Dorset Gallery.

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Tours

9 July 2022, 10:30am - 12:00noon

Roman Town House Tours

A guided tour of one of the best examples of a Roman Town House in England.

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Family Activity

10 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm

Sunday ArtyFacts

Have fun with stencils and create your own printed fabric based on flowers and natural forms in our Dorset artist and Natural Dorset galleries.

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Concert

20 July 2022, 7:30pm

Victoria Sayles and Kirsty Barry

A visit from two musicians with strong local connections. Violinist, Victoria (Dorchester born and bred) now enjoys an international career having recently been appointed leader of the Royal Swedish Opera Orchestra while Pianist, Kirsty will be remembered as a former member of staff at Thomas Hardye School.

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Festival of Archaeology: Museum after hours

21 July 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm

Museum after hours

Join us for an opportunity to explore the Museum at this free late opening

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Festival of Archaeology: Talk

21 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm

The Ridgeway Vikings: New research and findings | Heather Tamminen

Using modern digital technology, the sharp force of trauma on these individuals has been reappraised to see what new information can be learned. Bournemouth University’s Heather Tamminen will show how this technology has been able to refine the interpretations of the events that occurred and have added to the narrative of dramatic events that took place on the Ridgeway ten centuries ago.

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