Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Tonight at Wakefield Museum

Tonight is Artwalk night!

Wakefield Museum is proud to be part of this city-wide event.  
Come along from 5pm to 8pm.

Have a Historical Encounter!
Wakefield Museum’s temporary exhibition, Food For All Seasons, explores what was on the menu season by season in medieval Wakefield. With some amazing objects on display, including a medieval book of hours and the chance to peek into the larders of 14th century Sandal Castle, this exhibition is sure to whet your appetite…  
Drop in to meet: Thomas Dayville, Castle Steward
Thomas Dayville is a busy man. As Castle Steward he must manage the staff, keep up with the daily routine and of course serve his lord in the best way possible. With making sure the Castle is kept in good repair, and the stores well provisioned it’s never ending...
Part of the You Are What You Ate project, funded by the Wellcome Trust and in partnership with Wakefield Council, the University of Leeds and the University of Bradford.
Free entry 5 – 7.30pm

MadeInWakefield @ Create Cafe
Click on image to enlarge
Knitter, painter, song writer, sewer, crocheter, card maker, poet, doodle drawer, designer, paper folder, or just like making stuff? Get away from those distractions and come do your creative thing! Bring your notepad, your needles, your pencils, your wool. We’ll provide the space to allow your mind to wander and your creative juices flow.
Whatever you make, come and make it with us, together.
Made In Wakefield is a hub for creative activity to showcase, inspire and celebrate all things made in the Wakefield District. Whatever you’ve created, however big or small, loud or quiet, Made In Wakefield is here to celebrate you!
There will also be a DOODLE WINDOW, with all materials provided, and some performances in the ground floor atrium from Wakefield singer songwriter Martin Waterhouse, and Ossett poet Matt Abbott. Tony Wade from Faceless Company will also be on hand to help you make your very own wire figure sculpture throughout the evening. Silk paintings by workshop participants across the district will also be on display.
So there’s plenty to do, see, hear, watch and participate in, even if you don’t have any projects of your own to work on, and even if you do!
Free entry 5 – 8pm
Create Cafe Artwalk Menu
Wakefield Artwalk Special:
2 Courses with a tea or coffee - £10
Soup of the day with fresh bread £4
Create noodle soup £4
Classic Caesar salad £4
Warm salad with green beans, bacon and avocado £5
Spelt risotto, butternut and Yorkshire blue £6
Grilled salmon, herb mayonnaise, potato salad £6
Grilled bacon chop, pineapple salsa £6
Create marinated vegetable skewers, cous cous salad £6
Vanilla cheesecake, rhubarb syrup £3.50
Bakewell tart £3.50
Chocolate brownie £3
Treacle tart £4

Monday, May 27, 2013

Curate Your Own

Curator John Whitaker meets with Judi Alston from One to One Development Trust to make plans for Curate Your Own project.
Curate Your Own is an intergenerational project encouraging residents to explore museums being curators of their own exhibition. Participants will use digital media to document artefacts relating to their community sharing stories through digital recordings. An art installation for both Wakefield and Pontefract Museum will be produced along with a book documenting the journey and success of the  project.

It is funded through the Council's Creative Partners grant scheme which supports cultural excellence and innovation across the district, and run by One to One Development Trust. Projects deliver arts and cultural activity that make a real difference to the well being, health, happiness and life chances of our people, places and communities.

Curate Your Own will be delivered across the summer, the end results will be displayed in the galleries next year.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Fun for Museums at Night!

Last Friday saw 2 very different events at Wakefield Museum for Museums at Night. Museums at Night is an annual campaign during which museums around the country open their doors for out-of-hours events.

Our events included 'Museums at Knight' - a family event.

A knight in shining armour told tales of daring adventure!
Wakefield Museum and children’s library (at Wakefield One) were visited by a medieval knight who enthralled younger and older visitors alike with his interactive tale of dragon slaying and princess rescuing adventures.  Children aged 3 - 12 were invited to join the knight to help tell tales of his medieval quests.

Down in the museum itself visitors took part in a dragon themed trail and crafts.  With paper dragons and dragon mask making the museum was sure to require our knight's help...
Visitors were encouraged to come dressed for the event!

Comments from visitors included:
 ‘very well organised the boys loved it, thank you’

‘He was fab, please use him again’

‘Good for parents too!’

Thanks to our Medieval Knight for his story telling and interactive adventure.

On the same evening, we also had a very different event, but just as fun!  To come to an adult talk on historical vegetables called 'Flatulence and Phlegm', you would perhaps expect something a little different...

Dr Annie Gray, food historian, is a wonderfully entertaining speaker, who had her audience enthralled, inspired and giggling in equal measure!
Dr Annie Gray with the foods made to historic recipes
Annie explained that the range of vegetables available in the past was greater than it is today. Plants which are difficult to cultivate, or take a lot of space, now have very limited availability - such as the huge, beautiful cardoon which needs to be blanched to prevent it from tasting of cat wee!

We learned the virtues of samphire (and its correct pronunciation), that tea made with cleavers was supposed to keep you slim (but tastes 'green'), and that carrot puddings made from hollowed-out carrots filled with a pudding mixture aren't worth the effort (and look like severed fingers!).
Everyone gets stuck into the food samples after the talk!
Annie also explained that artificially colouring foods isn't a recent phenomenon - spring butter, produced before the cows go into pasture, is rather white, and so was coloured with carrot or saffron to make it yellow.

A final, random snippet - apparently hares have ear wax!  (Just to show that a talk on historic vegetables isn't just about rabbit food!)

Thanks again Annie - a very enjoyable evening!

Monday, May 20, 2013

New exhibition at Pontefract Museum

Click on image to enlarge
A new exhibition has recently opened in Pontefract Museum showing some beautiful images from the Pontefract Camera Club.

The exhibition runs until 29 June.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Free adult talks and events in May

Free talks and events for adults this month (the next on Thursday 16th!). For more details, visit the project website. 

Click on image to enlarge

Friday, May 10, 2013

Anatomy of a display 2 - Tudor Wakefield

Objects: Timber beams from various city centre buildings demolished in the 1960s

History: These buildings represent a golden age in Wakefield. When the selling and finishing of raw wool in the 1500s and early 1600s made Wakefield merchants very rich. The money they made was spent on fancy, decorated homes and shops. Timber from the out wood (Outwood), cut into beams to make a frame was the common architectural fashion of the Tudors. Most were demolished in the 1960s and the museum looks after some of the remains.
The Golden Cock Inn on Westgate, just before it was demolished

Display style: Even though they are very important the beams are not easy to display. They are very large and the carvings are often incomplete (a fascinating post featuring a knight is unfortunately missing his face). We worked with local historian Peter Brears to reveal how they looked when they were still parts of buildings. Peter spent his youth drawing many of the buildings in the late 1950s before they were pulled down. We combined his illustrations with our beams to create a 3D sketchbook style to explore the remains, what they used to look like and a flavour of what Wakefield was like 500 years ago.

This is what we did…..

The carved knight post
The knight post with a face as drawn by Peter Brears

One of the beams from the Golden Cock Inn cared for by Wakefield Museum
Peter Brears' drawing of the Golden Cock Inn
An early version of the display before the position of the museum walls were decided
Graphic design of how the pictures and beams might look together. We used a textured wallpaper graphic to make it look like the wall was a large notebook page.

Computer generated model of the display
The final display...come and see it!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

May Half Term Holiday Activities

With the Spring Bank school holidays getting ever closer it’s time to start thinking about organising those trips out with the kids. So why not take a look at all that the museums and castles have to offer with our free family workshops. 

Places go fast so book early!

Click on image above to enlarge

Friday, May 3, 2013

And our fame spreads...

From the Wellcome Trust Blog this week:

Exhibition planning for beginners: from idea to execution

30 Apr, 2013

Food for all seasons poster.jpg
Food for all seasons poster
The idea of running an exhibition in association with a public engagement grant is probably quite a common thing to come up with. Actually planning and launching one is much more difficult. Iona Mcleery offers her experience.

It all starts with a plain white box: four walls and a floor…

There are numerous questions to answer when coming up with a small exhibition to accompany your project: where is it to go, what objects and images can be displayed, and most importantly what is the key message to be transmitted through the exhibition: why do it in the first place?

For You Are What You Ate: Food Lessons From the Past, we answered these questions with the help of the experienced cultural officers on the project team from Wakefield Council’s museum service in West Yorkshire.

Click here to read the whole story!