My Creative Life: Talking Heads, an exhibition of clay sculptures inspired by Elisabeth Frink, will open on 2nd December 2021 at Dorset Museum.
The heads on display are the expression of a creative process during six workshops at Dorset Museum. The workshops started in March 2020 and were aimed at adults with learning difficulties, men with mental health issues and older people suffering from isolation and loneliness during the Covid-19 pandemic lockdowns. Janna Edwards, founder of 15 Days in Clay, facilitated the workshops and Frink expert, Annette Ratuszniak, introduced participants to sculptures by Elisabeth Frink to inspire them.
Just as Frink expressed ideas using her hands and materials, participants responded through clay to personal experience and what was happening in the world around them. The workshops were a vehicle for the group to show how they have felt and still feel as we all continue to deal with the pandemic. The amazing finished heads are a testimony to their creativity and the benefits of the project which provided a safe place to meet as well as the freedom for individuals to express their feelings and emotions through the tactile qualities of clay.
The sculptures, all very individual, tell many personal stories. Words carved into clay, decorative features including flowers and stars and textured surfaces reveal expressions, reflect thoughts, suggest visual connections and echo the personality of each artist.
The heads are on display in the Alice Ellen Cooper Dean Community Space, and the exhibition is free to enter. They are displayed in a recreation of the artists’ workspace, on turntables where visitors can explore them through touch. A film of the project and quotes from the participants will accompany the display.
The My Creative Life project is part of a pilot, funded by Dorset Council and Arts Council England, managed by The Arts Development Company using the Help and Kindness digital platform to advertise creative activities in the community.
Emma Talbot, head of learning at Dorset museum, said: “Dorset Museum was delighted to be part of the wider My Creative Life project with The Arts Development Company and Dorset Council. The My Creative Life: Talking Heads project and the exhibition at Dorset Museum highlights the need and value of community co-curated projects. It also demonstrates how we as a Museum need to continue to ensure we offer opportunities for as many people as possible and enable involvement in arts, culture and heritage. Emma Talbot, Head of Learning, Dorset Museum.”
Project Facilitator of 15 Days in Clay, Janna Edwards said: “I have been so impressed with the talents of the individuals that attended, they have worked extremely hard to produce really thought-provoking work, challenged themselves with exceptional results.”
Jo March of the Arts Development Company said: “It’s been a pleasure working with artist, Janna Edwards and Dorset Museum to organise this activity in their new education room where the participants have felt safe and supported and have also had unlimited access to the Frink collection for inspiration. It’s been a fantastic confidence-building opportunity for all involved, especially with the culmination of an exhibition of their work and demonstrates how it’s possible to deliver high-quality adult day care opportunities within the local community, not only providing choice but also overcoming isolation and loneliness caused by the Covid 19 pandemic.”
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
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.Find out more
10 July 2022, 10:30am – 12:30pm
Have fun with stencils and create your own printed fabric based on flowers and natural forms in our Dorset artist and Natural Dorset galleries.Find out more
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.Find out more
21 July 2022, 5:00pm - 7:00pm
Museum after hours
The Home of Hillforts and Henges event to celebrate our local heritage landscape will launch at Dorset Museum with a special open evening: Museum after hours.Find out more
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.Find out more
22 July 2022, 7:00pm - 8:00pm
The Extraordinary Prehistoric Landscape Under Your Feet And Up The Hills | Steve Wallis
In this talk Steve Wallis is to explore the prehistoric landscape of the Dorchester area, covering the changes over time and the different types of monuments and remains.Find out more