Pictures telling stories/visitors telling stories

November 15, 2010

An exhibition at Royal Cornwall Museum uses its art collection to encourage visitor interactions and reflections.

A wonderful exhibition in the art gallery space of the Royal Cornwall Museum is about story-telling. A variety of evocative paintings are displayed, and the introductory text explores how pictures tell their stories, but also points out that it is difficult in a single picture to sometimes tell the whole story. The idea is that visitors can fill in the gaps.

A number of questions on the walls – what can you hear?, what season is it?, what are they saying?, where are they going?, what colours can you see? – provide some inspiration for visitors; and a table and chairs in the centre of the gallery provide the space to create.

Visitors are invited to offer their own thoughts on the action taking place, and their responses are displayed in Perspex holders where other visitors can see the variety of stories. People of all ages have responded, and people have drawn pictures as well as written texts. Some have commented on the aesthetic nature of the paintings (sometimes quite critically), others on the recognised story (for example, the story of Pandora’s box) while others have shared their thoughts about what might be happening. Looks like a great way of encouraging people to look at the art collection in a different way.

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