Pondhu Pupils Curate Museum Exhibit

Pondhu Pupils Curate Museum Exhibit
Wheal Martyn

By: Gemma Martin
Added: 26 November 2014

On Friday 21st November, the Year 6 class from Pondhu Primary School took over Wheal Martyn Museum and curated a brand new exhibit as part of Museum Take Over Day.

The 29 pupils were tasked with curating an exhibition on the ‘Characters in Clay’.  The class prepared for the exhibit over the preceding weeks following an Outreach Workshop led by the museum Education Officer, Gemma Martin.  In the workshop the children delved through archive photos of St Austell town, old clay workers, pit captains, bal maidens, kettle boys and the Martyn Family.  They dressed up in period costumes and handled objects from the museum collection.  From the workshop experience, the children were inspired to write diary entries to include in the exhibit, and a visiting artist, Melanie Young, led a charcoal drawing master class for the children. 

On Friday 21st November, a coach dropped the children at Wheal Martyn, where they promptly got to work on ‘Taking Over’!  By the end of the day the exhibit was installed in the grand atrium at Wheal Martyn and includes clay models, art work, diary entries, a hands-on costume collection to try on and a video.

The Museum Manager, Sue Ford, commented “we’re really impressed by what the children have created!  The charcoal drawings and clay models really capture the imagination and reflect how tough work was for clay workers in Victorian times.  The atrium has been transformed!”  The children will be able to use their exhibition to achieve their Arts Award Discover certificate, gaining recognition for the tremendous work that they put in to the display.

The exhibit will remain on display in the atrium until Christmas, where upon elements of it will be moved to the interactive area of the museum as a permanent display.  Wheal Martyn hopes that visitors will come along to see how local children have embraced their heritage through this creative and fun-filled event.