Wheal Martyn’s Citizen Curators Present: Engineering the Earth

Wheal Martyn’s Citizen Curators are delighted to present their free exhibition ‘Engineering the Earth’. Their showcase, which opened on the 6 April, investigates the roles of science and engineering in the china clay industry.

The exhibition has been put together by Wheal Martyn’s volunteer Citizen Curators: Carol Weir, Simon Dunham and Imogen Law, who have been mentored by Nikita Brown, Exhibitions and Engagement Officer. The volunteers investigated the paper-making industry, kaolin in cosmetics and a local engineer – topics which represent the breadth and depth of this vast theme. Even experts might learn something new!

Wheal Martyn is one of seven museums across Cornwall participating in the Citizen Curators programme. This programme aims to encourage a more active interest in the collections cared for on behalf of the public and involve people from the local community. The three year project is supported by the Esmeé Fairbairn Collections Fund, administered by the Museums Association, and a part of our Arts Council England supported partnership programme led by Cornwall Museums Partnership. The course is led by Dr. Tehmina Goskar of the Curatorial Research Centre.

Tehmina said, “Citizen Curators is all about unearthing the hidden joys of our historical collections so that more people can learn something new from them. That’s exactly what the Wheal Martyn team are doing through their research and this exhibition. We feel very privileged to have support their journey.”

The Citizen Curators have thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity: “Our volunteering has not only given us a glimpse behind the scenes of Wheal Martyn and its dedicated staff, but also taught us much about the local area.”

“We have enjoyed the opportunity Wheal Martyn and the Citizen Curators project have given us, from exploring the other museums and galleries of Cornwall to the discussions and activities we worked on in the classes.”

“We hope this exhibition inspires you to also take an interest and perhaps volunteer for the next Citizen Curators course.”

Visitors are encouraged to get involved with the exhibition by guessing the items in the mystery cabinet, sharing knowledge of paper-making industry workers in Cornwall and checking the ingredients on their cosmetics to see if they contain kaolin. Any information is welcomed on our social media platforms, too.

The free exhibition is running from 6th April – 11th October in Wheal Martyn’s Atrium. Find out more about the exhibition and get updates on our social media: Facebook @whealmartyncw, Twitter @WhealMartyn and Instagram @whealmartyn. Use our hashtags #citizencurators #stawesome #whealmartyn. Follow our supporters on Twitter @cornwallmp @CuratorialRC.

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