In the autumn of 2020, CMP supported Carefree Cornwall to deliver a project exploring maps and identity, working with the collection of Royal Cornwall Museum and children in care. Thanks to Shout Out Loud, part of English Heritage, the project was one of 14 funded nationally through the Reverberate scheme, which aims to “explore the places, voices and activities that make local heritage unique, engaging critically and creatively with the past to create a broader view of what heritage is and who owns it”.
The ‘Maps that Matter’ project started out by questioning what ‘heritage’ meant, before using objects and art works from Royal Cornwall Museum to develop and create artwork made by the young people.
A small group initially met online with Annie Sheen, Carefree’s Arts leader; Cornish visual artist, Emma Saffy Wilson and Celine Elliott, Engagement Lead for CMP. Using the online exhibition Magnificent Maps created by Kresen Kernow, the group made personal maps of journeys they have taken, talked about landmarks and the purpose of maps today and in the past.
A visit to RCM enabled the group to explore the historic collections there: pieces from the handling collection relating to travelling, such as a compass, telescope and globes were examined. Jeni Woolcock, Collections and Engagement Officer at RCM, spent time talking to the group about the possible uses and histories of the objects, providing welcome insight and context.
The museum provided the perfect inspiration for the beginning of the creative process for the group. A full day of making followed in Redruth Youth Centre and – due to the second lockdown restrictions – the subsequent exhibition was shared online with family, friends, social workers and staff at a digital ‘opening night’: the young people spoke movingly about the inspiration behind each piece they made and hugely positive feedback was shared by the ‘audience’.
The ambition is that the exhibition will be shown in the museum at some point in 2021, alongside the objects that inspired the work and the project is already in the process of being replicated and developed further at Kresen Kernow with Carefree.
Thank you so much to all those who took part in this amazing project, and to English Heritage for funding the scheme! You can find out more about the work being done as part of Reverberate here.
– Celine Elliott, Engagement Lead at CMP