Discovering Tablecloth for a Feast and tactile dishes with The Monday Night Club

The Museum of Royal Worcester is delighted to announce a trail of new multi-sensory experiences installed across their galleries. These have been created from an innovative art project with Brum-based food and sensory artist Kaye Winwood, in collaboration with local charity The Monday Night Club.

Over the last 9 months, they have explored the food and drink stories behind Worcester porcelain in a series of workshops based on the senses. Visitors will now be able to experience the porcelain through smell, sound, and touch. CEO of Monday Night Club, Helen Gill said:

‘Our charity provides social opportunities for adults with learning disabilities and / or autism. Taking part in this exciting project has broken down barriers for MNC members to get involved and experience local heritage in imaginative ways. We love to encourage creativity, involvement and recognition in the wider community. We’ve learnt about what different porcelain objects were used for, such as pickle dishes, what they contained, and who used them. We have a better understanding of the heritage of The Royal Porcelain Works site where we meet each week at Henry Sandon Hall. It was fun to discover pickled vegetables are healthy and learn how to pickle at our MNC Saturday Kitchen cooking club. We also took a field trip to Croome Court, to see tactile porcelain created for the Blind Earl of Coventry, which inspired us to then make our own.’

The project is one of 15 made possible with a grant from the Association of Independent Museums, and the National Lottery Heritage Fund. Thanks to National Lottery players across the UK, the Museum of Royal Worcester is able to connect local communities and wider audiences with Worcester’s unique and fascinating heritage. The project has also been supported by The Bransford Trust. The Sensory Trail and installations in the galleries were opened at a special celebration event on Saturday 18 November, attended by Deputy Mayor, Councillor Mel Allcott. A special menu of canapes and drinks were created for the event by the project artist Kaye Winwood and chef Annabelle Davis, inspired by the collection.

Project artist, Kaye Winwood is a sensory and food artist, and founder of GULP in the Jewellery Quarter. She said:

‘It has been a joy to collaborate with The Monday Night Club and the Museum. We have had a lot of fun exploring the collection with our senses, reconsidering the ways in which we experience porcelain and connecting with people using taste, sight, sound, touch and smell. We used a playful approach to art and heritage to stimulate the imagination and increase awareness of how art can be experienced through all the senses. Aromas that evoke historical smell associations of the collection have been selected – from hot chocolate cups to roses painted on the porcelain. Together, we have learnt a lot and created a colourful ‘Tablecloth for a Feast’, now displayed at the Museum. With artist Nuala Clooney, we made porcelain moulds of the fruits and vegetables that often feature on Worcester porcelain. We explored and created sound recordings of porcelain and china, with musician Paul Carroll.’

Museum of Royal Worcester Director, Sophie Heath said:

‘This project has welcomed local neuro-divergent people to connect with the collection using the senses, bringing the Museum’s stories to life. We are thrilled to have worked together with innovative artist Kaye Winwood and enthusiastic participants from The Monday Night Club to create new learning and wellbeing experiences in the Museum for everyone to enjoy. Worcester porcelain was created to be used and enjoyed with all the senses and we’re excited to add some of these sensations into the way visitors experience our galleries. Thanks to the Association of Independent Museums and The Bransford Trust, this project brings Worcester’s porcelain heritage to new audiences and we can’t wait to hear what our visitors think.’

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