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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