Lace Plankton

Gathering together a group of women who had arrived in Torquay from various places across Europe, we were led by a local Devon Lace-maker Jo Hyde to help us make small lace pieces that represented plankton in the seas in Torbay.  Most of us were beginners and the lace-making focused our heads and hands in an extraordinary way whilst we talked about where we'd come from, how it was to live in Torquay, our sense of home and the ecology of the sea.

Plankton is from a Greek word meaning ocean wanderers or drifters, and as a group we studied them with help from a Torbay Coast and Countryside Trust Marine Biologist, who led a session looking closely at plankton through a microscope and who turned out to be a natural lace-maker!  We enjoyed being shown behind the scenes lace and pressed seaweed at Torquay Museum and during each workshop we shared food from our family recipes.

The lace pieces created are now part of the Museum's permanent collection.

Museum of Now

In 2015 ‘Museum of Now‘ took place in Torquay, culminating in an exhibition of unique objects hand made entirely from local, natural or recycled materials by people who live or work in the town.

Several of these objects have now been chosen by the museum to become part of their permanent collection.

Encounters is currently developing ‘Museum of Now’ in order to bring it to other communities, initially in Torbay but then further afield across the region. The programme will link to the venues specific mission and public engagement outcomes and will be highly aspirational in bridging collections and exhibitions with the contemporary concerns of local people through the making of objects.

Curating safe spaces both inside and outside museums where guided conversations, craft learning and creative expression can thrive amongst participants, the potential makes range from large communal objects to smaller individual ones.  Walking and talking, meeting and making, and communal gathering, researching and sorting of materials will be central to the programme. With skilled craftspeople attached and subject specialists bringing depth to the ‘themes’ of each object, the end works will be of a high quality and imaginative content, reflecting vital social histories to be preserved for the future.

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