Get Hands On with History this Saturday!

This month’s Hands On History session casts an artistic eye over the collection, examining different types of art and artistic techniques from around the world.

All of the objects represent some of the depth and diversity of the collections, from Chinese papers dolls to a Tibetan statuette. However it was an artefact a bit closer to home that really caught my attention! I discovered a hand embroidered map, created to celebrate the Festival of Britain in 1951. This colourful and humorous piece of art features images of William Shakespeare, a London Beefeater, a Welsh harpist and a Scottish piper amongst others.

Why not pop along on Saturday 18 October between 11am to 4pm to see if you agree!Hands On History 1

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A museum trip to London with exhibition plans ahead

After the second visit to Nuneaton, I’ve been gathering my ideas and discussing how I can turn my illustrations into interactives with Matt, the museum’s Outreach Officer – and also working out the layout of the exhibition with Jen, the museum’s Exhibitions Officer, it’s all coming together…here’s some of my early exhibition plans sketches – see if you can recognise if we end up with any of these ideas or not!

Sketch of Jhinuk's Exhibition draft DRAFT plan that could change!

Jhinuk’s Exhibition draft DRAFT plan that could change!

I have been working out some more detail to finalise our exhibition plans with the museum front of house team in my studio in London at Blackhorse Workshop. Together Marion, Heather, Rob, Matt and I worked out what questions visitors might ask them in the lead up to the exhibition.

Image of four people in discussion around Jhinuk's desk covered wit drawings and a laptop showing collection images

Rob, Heather Matt and Marion from the museum team helping me out at my studio desk.

We also talked about how I make my work, what materials I use and how I’m developing my practice for this project ‘Tales of the Tundra’ (a working title for now).

Collage sketch of sewing kit from the Inuit collection in black and white

Collage sketch of sewing kit from the Inuit collection

Sewing Kit from Nuneaton's Inuit Collection

Sewing Kit from Nuneaton’s Inuit Collection

Incomplete collage sketch of Pond Inlet

Incomplete collage sketch of Pond Inlet

Before the team headed off to the British Museum (to explore more collections of Inuit artefacts) they also gave me some food for thought on what to blog about. They gave me extra ideas about what might interest the local people of Nuneaton and more ideas to follow up on more for the next time I visit. Thanks guys! So stay tuned, I may reveal more before I meet the museum team again in November…!

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That glazed look!

Well they are finally going in!

After a hectic few days of clearing out the two downstairs galleries and preparing the spaces, our new windows have started to arrive and be installed. These new double glazed units replace the original windows that were put in during 1917 but were sadly the worse for wear, having faced

New windows

New windows

the elements for nearly one hundred years. Our new windows, whilst looking almost identical, promise to help ensure that we make a significant energy-saving throughout the winter as well as looking good for our visitors!

We are hopefull that all the work will be completed by the 27 October.

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Understanding Inuit Animals

As an Illustrator, when I want to learn about something, I understand more if I try to draw it and look at the visual sense of what it is or how it works. For example, here’s a quick sketch related to my last blog post – about how the Caribou is used for many different purposes, and hardly any part of the hunted down animal is wasted:

caribou to sinew

A caribou being hunted, cut into strips, and taken apart for food, making weapons, making clothes, and shelter.

So the last couple of months I’ve been settling in to a new studio space to spread out my drawings, read up on the way of life for Inuit people as communities, and their individual roles….and drawing animals that are part of their survival!

polar bear

Polar bear studies and sketches using ink, fountain pen and brush washes.

great diving bird

Great Diving Bird sitting in water (Sketch in black ink and water washes)


ek a luk

An ink study of a school of fish or ‘Ek a luk’ in Inuit language


Study of a ‘Tuktoo’ or Caribou

black swan

Ink study of a Black Swan

I’m beginning to draw upon ideas brought up in my last planning meeting with the museum – what message is strong that comes through from my research and relating to the objects in the museum’s collection – and how it all fits together into an exciting exhibition for you all. More to be revealed soon…

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Getting Greener!

Visitors to Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery will find changes taking place between October 1st and 24th when they visit.  The installation of new double glazed windows to replace the old wooden windows will be taking place, forcing some temporary gallery closures.    Changing to double glazing will help to make the building more energy efficient and help to reduce its carbon footprint by around half a tonne each year.    The museum is part of a Reducing Bills: Greening Museums Programme taking place across the West Midlands and has already reduced its energy usage by shifting to LED lights.

A programme of room closures appears below though these may be subject to change.

October 1st – October 24th George Eliot Gallery

October 1st – October 24th Picture Gallery

October 2nd – October 24th Local History Gallery

The museum will close entirely save the tearoom October 21st to October 23rd.  For up to date information people can log onto the museum’s facebook page,

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New schools resource under development

Over the past few weeks, Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery has been working with freelance Education Consultant, Barbara Touati-Evans on a new resource for visiting school groups. The resource, which will take the form of a part taught workshop at the Museum, addresses the theme of slavery and exploitation, making links between both historic and contemporary examples. Here’s what Barbara had to say about the project:

“So far my research has focused on artefacts from the Museum collections and evidence from both the Museum archive and documents from the County Records Office in Warwick. I have uncovered some startling facts about the employment of young children locally during the Victorian period, particularly in areas of heavy industry.

Early on in the project, we decided to focus on the Museum collection and local history resources linking the Victorian period and exploitative working conditions. In many ways these can be mirrored in conditions seen in developing countries and this is the point I hope pupils will take on board, that slavery takes many forms and still exists.”Barbara Evans1

The workshop will be available to schools to book later in the year. If you would like more details of the project please contact Matt Johnson the Museum Outreach Officer on 024 7635 0720 or email

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Followers Of Fashion

Our Access Assistants have been busy over the past two weeks preparing a little bit of fashion nostalgia for you to get hands on with on Saturday 20 September.

This month’s Hands On History2014-17-7 session is entitled“ Cravats And Crinolines” and will feature Victorian fashion accessories from the Museum’s collection. Discover a wide range of costume accessories for men and women from the early 19th century through to the 20th century and learn about the meanings behind some of them.

Objects to discover will include ladies and men’s hats, hatpins, parasols, purses and corsets. Visitors will be able to find out how fashions developed throughout the Victorian era and where items originated.

Just as a taster, take a look at these fabulous Wedding shoes from the 1920’s

All Hands On History sessions are free. No booking is required, just drop in from 11.00- 4.00pm.


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