A collection of miniature museums, made entirely of paper by community groups across Cumbria, went on display in a new gallery space at Windermere Jetty Museum on Friday 9 October.
Museum of… is an immersive display and a celebration of creativity from local community groups, schools, emerging artists at Kendal College and the University of Cumbria, and local artist Hannah Fox.
Under the timbers of the beautifully restored Old Windermere Fire Station, visitors will find the most imaginative and diverse collection of museums; from a Museum of Lunches, of Leaves, of Poison, and Pork Pies to a Museum of Migrants, of Music, of Feet, of Fungi and more.
Built in 1890, the Old Windermere Fire Station is of a similar design and construction to the pier houses at Bowness and Waterhead. It was moved from its original address on Brook Road in 1990 to its new home next to the Model Boating Pond at Windermere Jetty Museum (previously Windermere Steamboat Museum).
Inspired by memories, current concerns, dream scenarios, favourite hobbies, or obsessions of the people that took part, Museum of… has been lovingly created using all kinds of paper; from tissue, newsprint, brown, craft, pattern and upcycled print.
The display also features a wonderful short film detailing the craft of handling paper, a medium chosen for this project due to its wide-ranging accessibility and domestic familiarity.
The new exhibition is the culmination of a community project called FOLDED led by local artist Hannah Fox and Cumbrian charity, Lakeland Arts, which runs Windermere Jetty Museum and other arts and heritage venues around South Lakeland. The project was paused due to Covid-19 in March.
Groups that took part in workshops earlier in 2020 were varied in their connection to creativity; some had been studying for a degree in Art & Design, others have accessed food banks, are carers or are making a living out of creativity. The aim of the project was to democratise culture through the choice of material and workshops.
Hannah Fox, Artistic Director for FOLDED said: “We invited local people to make their own museum, revealing something they cared about, obsessed about or something they were experts in.
“Through a series of workshops, we worked with community groups to create 83 different museums, which are now displayed in the beautiful Old Fire Station by the lakeside.
“It’s been a real pleasure to design and curate this project with the support of the Learning and Participation team at Lakeland Arts and it’s lovely to finally see the community’s creativity displayed in one place. We hope that visitors to the museum enjoy the ideas that have been created and I look forward to working with the team again in the future. “
Ian Read, Head of Participation and Learning for Lakeland Arts said: “This is the first exhibition to take place in the historic Old Fire Station, and we’re honoured that it is one curated using work created from communities right here in Cumbria.“
Museum of… is displayed in Windermere Jetty Museums’ Old Fire Station and is the first time this beautiful space has been used for exhibitions since it opened in Spring 2019. The display is free to all visitors until 1 November 2020.
For more information, visit the website windermerejetty.org