Museum in a Box: it’s all about the box!

Local resident Angela shares her experience of 'Museum in a Box' workshops with her son Lorenzo

In Spring 2017 a 'Museum in a Box' featuring 3D-printed artworks from the Camden Art Collection went on tour to Camden's libraries and Great Ormond Street Hospital. During workshops children and their families could touch the 3D models and listen to artists’ audio interpretations of each object. The combination of the objects and audio then inspired stories, poems and sounds in response to the collection.

Local resident Angela shares her experience of taking part in the Museum in a Box workshops with her son Lorenzo. 

Museum in a Box workshops

My son Lorenzo is forever telling me off when we go to museums or galleries. When I try to touch the artefacts without reading the sign staring at me saying, “do not touch”, he is quick to tell me off!

I heard that many museums like the British Museum hold thousands of interesting artefacts and historical objects with information but only a fraction of these are on display. So when I heard about family friendly workshops that would be part of an exhibition showcasing the original artworks from Camden artists we jumped at the chance to be part of a great experience.

Esther the workshop facilitator is excellent and patient at getting the children to relax and bring out their creativity to develop their stories. With 8 artists to choose from, Lorenzo chose the 3D printed ‘Cubes’ (Carl Heideken, 1973) and I have to say he totally surprised me with his creativity. After feeling the textures of the cubes and listening to an audio response to each object on special micro-chipped postcards, Lorenzo started to develop his own story about '12 boxes 6 chances'. A 3D print definitely helped him to get a stronger connection with the piece.

Museum in a Box workshop
Angela and her son Lorenzo 

After learning to put his story down on paper he took part in recording his own audio at the end, in fact taking nearly an hour all together to get his story right, but it was worth it.  A selection of instruments to choose from had all the children hooked with their cool and interesting sounds. Lorenzo experimented with different sounds to tie his story together.

Museum in a Box workshop

Museum in a Box workshop

Museum in a Box workshop

Lorenzo couldn’t wait to go to another workshop this time at Kentish Town Library, Camden. This enabled him to choose another artist, a sculpture this time called the ‘Running Table’ (David Nash) which Lorenzo renamed the running animal and why not! As a family it was great to work and learn together and be part of such a fun community project that also toured to Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Museum in a Box workshop

You can hear Lorenzo’s '12 Boxes, 6 Chances’ story and many more responses recorded by children alongside the real artworks and 3D-printed versions in the exhibition Points of Contact: the Camden Art Collection Unboxed at Swiss Cottage Gallery (inside Swiss Cottage Library) until 1 July 2017. A family activity resource is available in the gallery space and can be downloaded in the 'attachments' section below. 

Museum in a Box workshop

This project was developed by the Arts and Tourism team at Camden Council with support from the National Lottery through Arts Council England. Workshops developed and delivered by Esther Springett (Quiet Down There) and Museum in a Box

Find out more about the Camden Art Collection.

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