The Fitzwilliam Museum and the Polar Museum at the Scott Polar Research Institute have joined the national competition Connect 10 to win evenings with acclaimed contemporary artist Susan Stockwell and author Jon McGregor.
Vote for Susan Stockwell at the Fitz:
Sculptor and craft artist extraordinaire, she makes amazing art out of recycled materials from banknotes to circuit boards!
Vote for Jon McGregor at the Polar Museum: Award-winning novelist and short story writer, he has written books including If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things and Even The Dogs
The Connect 10 competition is running in coordination with Museums at Night, an annual after-hours celebration when hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries and heritage sites open their doors for special evening events. Connect 10 is matching ten exceptional contemporary artists with ten museums and galleries for Museums at Night 2012 on 18, 19 and 20 May.
Cambridge has been shortlisted for two of the event bids. The Fitzwilliam Museum is bidding for artist Susan Stockwell, known for her incredible sculptures and collages made from recycled materials, and the Polar Museum is bidding for an evening of readings by award winning novelist Jon McGregor. It is hoped if enough people vote Cambridge may win both, making for a very special Museums at Night for the city.
People will be able to vote online until Monday 5 March for their favourite projects. If the Fitzwilliam is a Connect 10 competition winner Susan will be coming to the Museum on Friday 18 May to present her video of the making of A Chinese Dream - an incredible 2.5 metre quilt made from Chinese banknotes, now in the collections of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London.
Head of Education at the Fitzwilliam, Rachel Sinfield commented: "Having artist Susan Stockwell present her work here in Cambridge would be an amazing event for the city. She creates fantastic sculptures and craft pieces made out of recycled materials - from old banknotes and paper to circuit boards. Her works genuinely are astounding, different and have been exhibited all over the world. Please vote for her to come to Cambridge so we can make this year’s Museum’s at Night extra special."
The film screening of the making of A Chinese Dream will complement the Museum’s upcoming blockbuster exhibition The Search for Immortality: Tomb Treasures of Han China (5 May - 11 November 2012). The exhibition, which is part of the London 2012 Festival, is the largest and most important exhibition of ancient Chinese royal treasures ever to travel to the West. The spectacular show will be open for a special viewing for Museums at Night, and together with Susan Stockwell’s contemporary art will provide a great opportunity for visitors to discover more about ancient and modern China. If they win the Fitzwilliam will also be running creative workshops using recycled materials inspired by Susan’s art, allowing people to really engage with her work in a personal way.
If the Polar Museum wins their category of the Connect 10 vote, Jon McGregor will read from his recent work on the evening of 18 May. Sophie Weeks, Education and Outreach Officer at the Polar Museum, said: "We are excited by the prospect of inviting Jon McGregor here to help us celebrate a key point in British polar history. 100 years on from Scott's South Pole journey, we hope the public will vote to bring Jon’s strange and wonderful tales to the museum."
From Man Booker Prize nominations for his debut novel to essays on his father in broadsheets and diaries from the Antarctic adapted by dance companies, Jon McGregor is one of the most exciting crafters of language in Britain today.
The Bermuda-born 35-year-old will use photos, videos, maps, a suitcase full of props and the mysterious works which adorn his latest book, This Isn't the Sort of Thing That Happens to Someone Like you, for an hour-long short story performance.
Image credit: 'A Chinese Dream'(detail), Chinese money quilt sewn with ribbon border, © Susan Stockwell 2010