One of the important aspects of the Manchester Museum’s work is to engage with the visitors, particularly children, in order to stimulate interest in the world around them. As part of this campaign to stimulate interest in the collections the Manchester Museum runs regular Big Saturday events across the year, which encourage visitors (of all ages) to directly interact with museum collections. Members of the museum staff are also available at these events to explain and answer questions about the objects presented on handling tables.
In 2011-12 academic year, the Manchester Museum’s Entomology Department was involved in a collaborative project with Arts, Design & Media students from the Stockport College (tutor – Ian Murray). Working with Dmitri Logunov, the Museum’s Curator of Entomology, and Anna Bunney, the Museums Curator of Public Programmes, the students were given the challenge to create artworks in response to different groups of creepy-crawlers (e.g., flies, cockroaches, butterflies, dragonflies, cicada, sacred scarab, spiders, scorpions, etc.), exploring not only the physical appearance of the creatures but also their historical and symbolic meaning.
In this collaborative project, students were asked not only to develop various artworks (artist books exploring bugs, 3D models or toys of various bugs, badgers with their images, and even bug animation), but also to contribute to a Museum’s Big Saturday event through their art and design skills. Such Big Saturday, called Bug Art, took place in the Museum in partnership with the Stockport College on 28/01/2012. During that day the visitors could get a closer look at some of the insects from the Museum’s collection, watch a family friendly Bugs and Insects film or watch maggots creating abstract art. Activities also included making origami Cicadas, bug headbands, bug badges, printing and stop motion animation.
Here is the short film produced by the students involved in Bug Art – Big Saturday who presented their own view on that great event. Just enjoy it!