Blog: Ancient Objects, New Writing, part 1

"Ancient Objects New Writing is a project between Manchester Museum and ArtReach and will form part of Journeys Festival International in October 2018. 4 accomplished artists, who are refugees living in the UK, will each chose an object from the Manchester Museum collection and produce a new piece of writing in response to the selected object. These works will be displayed in libraries across Manchester in September. In October, the artists will present the work as part of Journeys Festival International Manchester. The artists who will be working on the project are Mahboobeh Rajabi, Firoozeh Fozooni, Abas Eljanbi and Vahid Davar Ghalati. The project will be led by me – Amy Bonsall.

This first session has been one of trying to forge the way ahead, ensuring that dates, timelines and ideas will work. This is no easy task but by keeping the objectives of the project clear we have been able to agree dates and events. Now the ‘real work’ can begin!

We enjoyed a very informative tour of the museum, conducted by Andria Winn. This introduction to the museum’s vast collection (over 4,000.000 objects!) allows the artists to orientate themselves and begin the difficult task of selecting an object for the project. The museum will be closing off various galleries shortly in preparation for their forthcoming, major, capital project. As such it feels like an extra privilege to enjoy the museum as it is now…for the imminent changes will be dramatic.

Each of the artists has been given a notebook/journal so that they can record their artistic journey. It will be fascinating to see how their ideas and pieces of writing develop throughout the writing workshops that will take place over the coming months. Will the artists choose poetry? Scripts? Short stories or another written form entirely for their final work? You will have to follow their journey over then next 2 months to find out!"

This is a blog entry by Amy Bonsall. Keep an eye on the news feed for more blog posts on this project.

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