Amgueddfa Blog: Amgueddfeydd, Arddangosfeydd a Digwyddiadau

Following Wrexham Museum’s recent acquisition of the Bronington Hoard, a collection of 15th century gold and silver coins and a gold and sapphire ring found by local metal detectorists, the Saving Treasures; Telling Stories Project helped fund the Buried in the Borderlands Community Archaeology Project.

The project, which goes on display in March, focuses on working with and inspiring the local community to investigate and produce creative responses to the historic objects discovered right under their noses.

David and Jill Burton are part of the Maelor heritage society set up by the museum, a group of volunteers who research and help to exhibit the Bronington findings. We caught up with them to talk about the project.

Why were you drawn to the project?

We have enjoyed the opportunity to be involved with the “Buried in the Borderlands" project as volunteers with the Wrexham Museum team. Initially it was curiosity that took us along to the community meeting in the local pub to find out about more about the hoard that had been discovered in a field not far from where we live. This was followed up with meetings at the museum and the exciting chance to examine at close quarters the coins and ring that had been discovered. 

The hoard consists of 52 coins and a gold ring with a sapphire stone, all buried in approximately 1465. The hoard has been dated to a period of history we knew little about, the Wars of the Roses and we were intrigued what effect the conflict had had on our local area. 

What does your voluntary work involve?

Our “homework" between meetings was the opportunity to research into settlement and ways of life in the Maelor area 550 years ago and the politics of the time. Out limited knowledge of old coins, their designs and production, was helped by attending an excellent Numismatics Day at Wrexham Museum with the chance to listen to top quality speakers from the Royal Mint and the Fitzwilliam Museum amongst others.

What’s your favourite aspect of being involved with “Buried in the Borderlands”?

We enjoyed using the information we had discovered to put together a brief for designers of the popup information boards which would accompany displays and were delighted to see the resulting ideas come to fruition.

But I think our favourite part of the project was helping museum staff take a sample of the hoard and the completed information boards “on tour”, to three venues in the area where the hoard had been discovered, a community centre, a school hall and a heritage centre. At all three places we were met with interest and enthusiasm by visitors of all ages.

We loved having the time to chat, to explain and to listen to theories on why our visitors thought the hoard had been buried. We met 387 people on these days, some were local historians, some metal detectorists, some local residents and farmers but we especially enjoyed talking to the children who loved seeing “real treasure” and had the most imaginative theories as to its origins.

What does the future hold for the project?

We look forward to the next stage in the New Year when we can help with ideas for the designs for the permanent exhibition of the Bronington Hoard in Wrexham Museum, and of course the grand opening when for the first time we will see our local hoard all displayed together for everyone to appreciate and enjoy.

Interested in getting involved? Contact Wrexham Museum directly to find out more.

Dim syniadau am anrhegion i’r plant eleni? Mae digon o ysbrydoliaeth yng nghasgliadau’r Amgueddfa. Bydd rhai o’r eitemau yma’n cael eu harddangos yn orielau newydd Sain Ffagan Amgueddfa Werin Cymru yn hydref 2018.

Peiriant gwnïo tegan

Rhif caffael: F82.51.63

Oes rhywun yn y teulu’n dwlu ar wnïo? Margaret Eckley o Sili oedd perchennog y tegan hyfryd hwn. Byddai wedi chawrae ag ef yn y 1930au. Mae’n cael ei droi â llaw ac yn addurn arno mae llun o’r Hugan Fach Goch. Mae llyfr cyfarwyddiadau ganddo hefyd.

 

Set o filwyr bychan

Rhif caffael: 56.313.134 – 154

Beth am hen ffefryn? O Aberhonddu y daw’r set hon o filwyr tegan. Wnaethon nhw fartiso yr holl ffordd? Cawsant eu rhoi i’r Amgueddfa yn y 1950au, a bydden nhw wedi cael eu defnyddio gan blant y rhoddwr a gafodd eu geni yn y 1890au.

 

Tractor tegan Corgi

Rhif caffael: F00.27.9

Mae ceir bach Corgi yn boblogaidd o hyd. Plant o Gaerdydd fyddai wedi chwaraeâ’r tractor hwn yn y 1950au a’r 1960au.

 

Dol gwisg Gymreig

Rhif caffael: 30.316

Ganol y 19eg ganrif byddai plant wedi chwarae â’r ddol Gymreig hon. Mae’n rhaid ei bod hi wedi cael ei thrysori – roedd hi yn nheulu’r rhoddwr am 80 mlynedd. I weld mwy o ddoliau Cymreig ewch i wefan Casgliad y Werin Cymru.

 

LEGO Nadolig

Rhif caffael: 2000.194/1

Fyddai hi ddim yn Nadolig heb LEGO! Dyma sïon corn a’i sled a gynhyrchwyd yn ffatri LEGO yn Wrecsam.

Dyw’r gwrthrychau ddim i’w gweld ar hyn o bryd, ond byddan nhw ar y wefan yn fuan, ynghyd â nifer o’n casgliadau Celf, Archaeoleg, Diwydiannol, Cymdeithasol a Diwylliannol. Diolch i chwaraewyr y People’s Postcode Lottery am eu cefnogaeth i’r gwaith hwn.

Os oes gwrthrych penodol yr hoffech chi ei weld yn unrhyw un o’n hamgueddfeydd, gwnewch yn siŵr ei fod yn cael ei ddangos cyn teithio, neu gallwch chi drefnu apwyntiad i’w weld.

People's Postcode Lottery Logo

Monday, 11th December, the National Museum Cardiff in Cathays hosted the first pilot activity of ‘Kick the Dust’, a Heritage Lottery funded youth and community engagement programme aiming to to work with 14-24 year olds and use the National Museums of Wales as tool boxes to provide fun, engagement, career and life-skills development opportunities. The first people to utilise the museums’ space was a group of twelve students in their second year of the BA Theatre and Performance course at Aberystwyth University. This was an opportunity for them the try out and experiment with performance techniques and styles studied in a module over the last ten weeks.

After a three-hour journey through snowy Wales, the students arrived and were taken on a tour; they were invited to examine and be inspired by the textures, architecture, sculptures and paintings within the building and the students developed physical responses to their chosen areas of interest. Initially, the museum felt like a loaded space to the students, they were unsure of the rules of engagement to begin with. However, through the course of the day, the students stretched out and embraced the museum; the performers worked the dormant surroundings and brought the halls of memory to life.  

Performances were filmed and photographed in four locations within the museum; an empty exhibit space, the theatre, the gallery space containing the painting ‘Choir of the Capuchin Church’ 1817 by François Marius Granet, and a taxidermy section of the natural history exhibition. These diverse spaces yielded equally diverse results. The first space, the empty exhibition, they found to be eerie and neutral so they used it to workshop and play with the concepts of a previous performance. The students engaged with this area for at least fifteen minutes of focussed and intense work which was fascinating to witness. The next space was the theatre and here the students felt at home and they really began to thrive. In the ten minutes of their performance here, they engaged with the architecture and sharp lines of the auditorium as well as the performer-audience relationship; this piece blurred the lines between the expected, smashing the fourth wall and replacing it with an osmotic veil which helped me, as an observer, reinterpret the space and the emotional journeys taken within it.

The next, more traditional museum-gallery location was enchanting to witness. The group were inspired by the depth and angles within the painting and decided to use a doorway between two gallery spaces as the ‘frame’ to their interpretive performance; they explored the role of the spectator observing the artwork, the shapes and emotion within the pieces themselves, and the angles and imposition of the cases and stands. It became an active, rhythmic representation of the feeling and themes present in the room within the framed-depth concept. I found myself observing their fluid development of the space as I would a static piece of art, finding new areas of detail and interpretation the longer you look. The last performance in the taxidermy exhibition was an intense one. They explored the processes involved in preparing taxidermy through physical gesture re-enactment and, in the confined space overlooked by wolves, skeletons and a bison, it became quite claustrophobic and uncomfortable; they captured the unnaturalness of the grotesque process.  

At 5pm, the students finally got on the coach back to Aberystwyth, still excited and proud of the amazing work they’d done at the museum. They had indeed managed to ‘Kick the Dust’.

This blog post was written by Christina Dixon, a BA history student volunteering and getting work experience at Amgueddfa Cymru-National Museum Wales.

 

When we were designing the exhibition  we discussed different ways visitors could share their connections with the art on show. We designed conversation prompts to get people thinking and post cards for people to give their feedback:

 

It's been really exciting to read people's responses and we'll be sharing some of our favourites over the coming months along with our thoughts. We'd really like to hear from you as well, tell us what you think, how do you connect with art?

 

Here's the first one:

 

I like this comment because it's so positive, starting with self awareness, other people, then the world. Seeing involvement with art and creativity as a journey is something I can indentify with. In a way we all have the same journey but with different twists and turns which is what makes life so interesting. When someone describes or makes something real you can laugh in recognition. Maybe art is about mutual recognition of beauty, horror and humour?

#WallichXart

 

We've had a great few days at the museum, being half term we created lots of different art activities for visitrs to try in the 'Who Decides' exhibition. People created monsters and put them on sticks and took photos of their favourite things in the gallery.

Inspired by the sculpture they made sculptures from pipe cleaners. The Besson ceramics collection let people be creative by making their own designs on plates. The visitors really enjoyed taking part and we had a great time to, talking about the art we've chosen with visitors.

There was a (nice!) mess on the floor afterwards but Mike did a great job clearing up!

If you took part dont forget to share your photos on social media using #wallichXart

There will be lots more events and activities happening in the gallery over the coming months. Check our events web page for more information.