Torbados Ark

After visiting Torquay museum and seeing the extraordinary collection of wooden animals hand-made for the large Victorian Ark on display, the Young Parents group from the Acorn Centre decided that a container ship would make for a contemporary take on this old fashioned toy.  Container ships are often spotted loitering on the horizon in Torbay.  Working together with parents of very young children, sometimes babes in arms, we all investigated the local animals that were deemed endangered and learnt more about them, choosing which ones we'd like to represent on the ark.  Small animal figures were then made using clay with the help of a local sculptor Elizabeth Hadley. Participants decided to burn key words onto the containers which they hoped would reflect the qualities they dreamt might be carried into the future of Torquay. This piece is also now in Torquay Museum's collection and was titled 'Torbados Ark' by the participants to reflect the local nickname for their town.

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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