Material Memories: Session 6 @ The Islington Museum.
As we are being hosted by the lovely Islington museum collecting seemed an obvious topic to explore. We humans are known to collect ‘stuff’ as physical personal identity markers, and everyone has collected something at one time or another, so the platform was set to discuss how the things we collect help us remember people, places and specific times in our lives.
We started with lunch, as usual, and a catch up with our now new friends. Lunch was a far more animated affair given last weeks food topic and there was discussion of recipes and thanks given from husbands and friends who had benefitted from the leftovers!
The group were invited to bring in a personal collection or share a memory of collecting and we shared objects and discussed our experiences of collecting and collecting through different epochs.
There were some overlapping of collections with several group members having collected postcards, erasers, tins, boxes, stamps, wigs, aprons, saris, badges, beermats and marbles. Most of the collections are now boxed and stored..’erm somewhere’ but nearly all have been kept for sentimental value.
We had booked in for a handling session with Alex from the Islington Museum with privileged access to some of the museums objects from the archives. The handling session proved extremely popular, allowing our group to have a feel of the objects and discuss the material they were made from, their historic importance to Islington and how they had come to be in the possession of the museum.
Some more reluctantly than others…
After much laughing , messing about and general silliness we got down to making and the group, inspired by their own collections, their friends collections and those in the museum, were straight to task.
We were a hive of activity; music on, glue out, lace and ribbon spaghettied all over the table, scissors at the ready, needles threaded and beads & sequins, well pretty much everywhere. We worked like women on a quilting mission, producing at least one panel each and in many cases two or three!Stopping only for an occasional energy boosting cuppa and an inspirational chocolate biscuit of reflection.
And here are some of the results….
A really inspiring and productive session which left the whole group questioning; Why don’t more museums open up their collection for handling session to those with sensory impairments?
Next week… personal books of influence and the legacy of infamous Islingtonians Joe Orton & Kenneth Halliwell.