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Modern Art Meets Local Heritage in New Touring Exhibition

03 Dec 2015

Kendal Museum is calling on venues across the county to get involved with its latest touring exhibition celebrating the unique digitisation project, ‘Looking Through A Lens’.

The exhibition features exclusive new artwork by local artist, Janette Phillips as well as lifesize images of some of the floral life, plantlife, and minerals from three of the Museum’s key collections.

It marks the completion of the innovative project, which has seen more than 5,700 items being digitally captured and preserved for future generations on a new website. The website http://www.kendalmuseum.digital is due to  launch in early December.

The pop up exhibition will be going on the road during 2016 and Kendal Museum is looking to partner up with a number of different venues to display the impressive artwork. Venues already signed up to showcase the work include the Town Hall, Library, and Leisure Centre in Kendal, The Beacon in Whitehaven, Wray Castle on Lake Windermere, and Carlisle’s Archive Centre.

The ‘Looking Through A Lens’ project, funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund, has seen Kendal Museum becoming the first museum in the UK to follow key strict scientific guidelines to digitise three of its important collections.

The collections - a herbarium and two mineral – have never before been on public display due to their age and fragility but soon people will be able to zoom in on the exact detail as well as downloading any of the thousands of images from the new website.

Carol Davies, Curator at Kendal Museum, said: “This project has been pioneering in many ways and we want to engage as many people as we can to get involved with it. As a curator, my role is to share our many treasured collections with the public and we’re always looking for new ways to do this.

“The touring exhibition not only gives people the chance to see some large scale images of the historic collections, designed by our digital imaging scientist George Platt, but also showcases some brand new stunning work by talented local artist, Janette Phillips. Janette has worked with us before and has a natural ability to really understand the collections. The contemporary and vibrant style of her work fits really well with the exciting digitisation project and brings to life our plans for museum practice in the 21st century.”

Janette Phillips said: “I feel really lucky to be involved with this project. I had enjoyed working with the minerals on a previous occasion, but this time I was blown away by the beauty of the herbarium collection. I selected a cross-section of the collections to work with and spent some time at the museum drawing, sketching, and even filming them to capture their inherent qualities.

“I hope that my artwork gives a sense of the rocks, minerals, and plants having both come out of the landscape and then being returned and transformed back into an imagined 'scape with a focus on their natural beauty and timelessness.”

If any businesses or venues are interested in featuring the exhibition or would like to find out more, please contact the Museum on 01539 815597 or email info@kendalmuseum.org.uk.