Scarborough’s Rotunda Museum, the William Smith Museum of Geology, has been shortlisted in a national scheme to win a visit from a leading artist as part of the Museums at Night weekend in May.
The Museum, part of the charitable Scarborough Museums Trust, is down to the final four in the scheme, Connect10. Ten contemporary artists submitted outline ideas for an artistic project – museums nationwide then ‘bid’ for the artist which most matched their profile. They were then whittled down to a final four bids for each artist.
The Museum now needs its supporters to vote for it to win a visit from artist Julia Vogl during Museums at Night weekend – 16 to 18 May. Julia’s Connect10 proposal was to create ‘a huge interactive multi-coloured map of a community using 10,000+ vessels (glass, ceramic, plastic, metal, balloons) that can contain water’.
The Trust submitted a bid for her to ‘to create a unique visual representation of Scarborough, fusing scientific data with arresting visual representation and utilising a strong element of public participation. Her concept would be realised as an interpretation of William Smith’s first geological map of Britain (1815), which used hand-painted colour-coding to illustrate different geological strata’.
If the Trust’s bid is successful, the Rotunda will win a visit from Julia to oversee the project, plus £2,000 towards costs.
Scarborough Museums Trust Learning Manager, Holly Hyams, said: “In the run-up to the event we will ask residents to collect both the water vessels and the local rock/soil samples which, when crushed, will create the colour-pigments (echoing the delicate water-colours of Smith’s original map). These pigments will be collected during a series of walks along Scarborough’s coastline.
“The ‘map’ would then be arranged in the Rotunda Museum, whose iconic circular design was chosen by Smith to illustrate the order of rocks on the Yorkshire coast.”
Supporters can vote for the Rotunda to win this prestigious competition at www.museumsatnight.org.uk. Voting opens at 11am on 19 February and closes at 5pm on 5 March.
The Rotunda faces competition from the Discovery Museum in Newcastle, Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, and Gloucester City Museum and Art Gallery.
The Connect10 competition is supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England.