Nautilus Sculpture unveiled at Erasmus Darwin Museum Garden
This project first started back in March 2018 when Erasmus Darwin House was awarded a grant for £25,050 to produce the sculpture and exhibition, from Swinfen Broun Trust, facilitated through Lichfield District Council. The funders thought that Erasmus Darwin House’s commitment to engage with the local community to produce art work alongside artist Hannah Golding was exciting and the sculpture was unveiled April 13th 2019.
Jenny Arthur, Chairman of Erasmus Darwin House states, “This has been an amazing project for the Museum, it has fostered a real sense of community within the museum, with various groups visiting the museum to make artwork and find out about the achievements of local man Erasmus Darwin. It has created a new exhibition space for the museum, and we are exploring how local people can participate in producing exhibitions for this space. Moreover, with such a large investment from Swinfen Broun trust it shows their confidence in the Museum’s ability to create such an inspiring exhibition and that the story of Erasmus Darwin’s life is so important to the people of Lichfield and beyond.”
Not only did the project encourage the local community to get ‘hands on’ with various mediums, it also enabled the museum to provide valuable work experience for students from the University of Birmingham who are helping to write the information panels about the project and develop family activities to accompany it.
Hannah Golding’s final sculpture has formed around Erasmus Darwin’s evolutionary motto, “Everything from Shells”. Using the Nautilus shell as a symbol of expansion and efficiency, Hannah has used metal cogs to form the body of the work which she felt reflected “the Lunar Society’s industrial achievements as well as a representation of the enlightened thinkers working together to expand their ideas on creating more efficiency within many aspects of society.”
Ruth Buttery, Grants and Projects Officer at Erasmus Darwin House, who has worked closely on the project states “seeing Hannah Golding and the local community groups working together to create their art work for the exhibition has revealed that the theme is still relevant to today’s society – working together to collaborate and design something new creates a unity within these groups and a sense that together they can achieve new things and feel like they can go on to develop more ideas for the future, which without participating in this project they would not have discovered”.