Beginning to tell the Tales from The Tundra

Hi, my name’s Jhinuk and I’m an Illustrator based in London, originally from the Midlands. You can find out more about me and my work here. This is my first blog post about my collaboration of work with Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery on our project with the working title ‘Tales from the Tundra’.

Today I visited Nuneaton Museum with an exciting agenda to kick off my work with them as Illustrator in residence. I was greeted by the sunny gardens of Riversley Park (which the museum overlooks, for those who don’t know it yet).

The blooming, colourful gardens of Nuneaton's Riversley Park (in front of Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery)

The blooming, colourful gardens of Nuneaton’s Riversley Park (in front of Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery)

Let the planning and research begin!

Today went by so quickly, but definitely filled my head with a set of strong starting points for some sketches and themes for illustrations I could create.

In a planning meeting with the museum team, I learned about the background of objects in the Inuit collection and the research the team had already made. It all definitely helped me to understand how my illustrations could interpret interesting stories.

From different perspectives of the team, we discussed exhibition designs, visitor activities relating to my illustrations, events where I could talk about my research and making it all accessible. The team thrashed out their ideas with me and vice versa. We planned in dates to carry it all out, helping me to slowly determine a deadline for my final illustrations (even if I don’t know what they will look like yet!).

How I spent the afternoon:

I got some gloves on and delved into boxes of Inuit objects found in the collection store!

Photographing some Inuit objects and focusing on different details in them allowed me to think about what elements I could study further, both visually and for their meaning in the overall story I want to tell. Many materials including delicate seal skins, walrus ivory and beadwork had been crafted into games and vital everyday tools by this particular Inuit community. The additional decorative patterns of the Inuit texts in bibles and embroidery on boots also helped to spark off a number of ideas on what colours, materials and crafts I want to explore in my illustrations.

The museum team and I talked about local visitors, what would excite regular and new visitors of all ages to find out about the Inuit collection? Would they like to learn about Canon Jack Turner – a man who travelled to Baffin Island to meet Inuit people and who returned with these wonderful objects that he donated to Nuneaton Museum? Would I make my illustrations uncover the skills and everyday lives of Inuit communities? Would visitors like to learn about Inuit people’s beliefs and spiritual values?

Can you help?

I would love to hear what you would like to learn from my illustrations and the Inuit collection. Feel free to leave me a comment. And in return, perhaps I’ll give you a sneaky peek at some of the wonderful objects from the collection I studied in my next blog post. Until next week….

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Really radical ribbon writing

No it’s not a tongue twister!

In preparation for the arrival of the giant Godiva puppet which will be visiting Nuneaton on Saturday 5 July, pupils from the George Eliot School have been busy preparing something for her!

As part of the Ribbons for Godiva Challenge, they have beenribbon event 006 writing lines from George Eliot’s famous novel ‘Silas Marner’ onto ribbons which will then be tied onto the trees outside the Museum & Art Gallery. They will be inspected by Godiva when she arrives so I hope she is impressed with what she finds!



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Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery at Astley Book Farm

Museum at AstleyThe Museum was priviledged to be invited to the celebrations for Astley Book Farm’s 10th Birthday on Saturday 28 June.

We decided to take along a copy of Robert Evens’s diary from 1833. You may know that Rober Evans was Land Agent for the Arbury Estate and the the father of George Eliot. It drew a great deal of attention and we were busy throughout the day answering questions.


A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to the to the team at the Book Farm who looked after us so well throughout the day. It’s a fabulous place to go if you are a book lover, or even if you just like large portions of delicious cake!

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Nuneaton Memories Masterpiece

It’s finished and open for all to see!

The local history group Nuneaton Memories have completed their exhibition for our Community Showcase. Using the theme ‘Nuneaton at Play’, they have created a superb snapshot of how people of all ages in the borough have spent their leisure time over the past 95 years.

From Rock & Roll to Rag Dolls, come and have a look for yourselves!


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Mapping Memories

Well had a fantastic time on Monday at Edward Street  Day Centre with a special printing workshop.

Print artist Tracey Watson worked with somTea towel workshop underwaye of the Centre users to create print designs for a new tea towel that the Museum & Art Gallery will be selling later this year. All of the workshop participants are first generation migrants to Nuneaton and were asked to create designs based on buildings that were important to them, either now or in the past.

After some lively reminiscence over many photographs of buildings, the workshop took off with designs being produced at a steady rate. Impressions of places such as J.C. Smiths department store, Courtaulds factory, where many of the participants once worked, and even The Palace Cinema once of Queens Road, emerged from the paper and printing ink.

Everyone made it to the end, happy and tired. Thanks to Maarya for the cups of tea! There will be further updates on the final design of the tea towel in the next few weeks.

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Help Make Me Tick!


Fred with the organ clock before donating it to Nuneaton Museum

Nuneaton Museum & Art Gallery has launched a fundraising campaign to get Nuneaton’s Black Forest organ clock working again. Funds donated will restore the clock movement and organ, which plays German folk music. You can find out more and keep up to date with the project on the helpmakemetick blog.

The Black Forest organ clock was found by local gentleman, Fred Hogg, in pieces, in a Nuneaton workshop Yard. At this time, he worked as a Mill Manager for the former Nuneaton Timber Company and was passionate about carpentry.

During the Second World War, he assisted with sourcing the timber for the re-building of bomb damaged Chilvers Coton Church. During the re-building, he worked alongside a group of German Prisoners of War, who were based at Arbury Hall, to restore the church’s reredos. Among the Prisoners of War there was a carpenter and artist, he asked them for their help to restore the clock case and face. He also engaged the help of a local organ builder who gave him advice on replacing parts of the organ. Once the organ was restored, he worked the clock, which played the organ to the German Prisoners of War so they could listen to and confirm the music of their home land. Find out more about the clock on our fundraising blog.

The ‘Make Me Tick’ restoration project aims to:

  • Restore the clock and organ to a working condition
  • Conserve the face and case to a stable condition
  • Film the conservators at work and make this accessible both online and onsite
  • Record the music produced by the clock and make this accessible both online and onsite
  • Create a regular custom when the clock can be played whilst on display
  • Engage with specialist groups who may have an interest in the clock mechanism and the project and wish to contribute to the research for the interpretation and specialist knowledge
  • Recruit and train both new and existing volunteers to help research the local aspects of the story
  • Improve the display and interpretation for the clock
  • Develop a family resource for the clock

To achieve this, the museum hopes to raise around £8,000. Please help us! By donating to this project you can help make history come alive through music. Visit our donate page to find out more.

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That’s Entertainment!

Community Showcase April 2014 002So how did the people of the Borough entertain themselves in an age before Sky TV, tablet computers and the X Box?

We had a great day on Monday 31 March with Mark Palmer and members of the Nuneaton Memories group finding out just that! The group are researching the museum collections so they can create a display in our Community Showcase entitled ‘Nuneaton at Play.’ So far things such as theatre programmes, record players and toys have come to light with the promise of more to follow.

The group are coming back on 14 April to make their final selection and we will be blogging some of their star finds so watch this space!

Don’t forget, if you are part of a group or organisation and you would like the opportunity to work with the Museum team and the collections to create your own exhibition, please contact us on 024 7635 0720 or email for more details.

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