Press Release: Tuesday 21 November 2017

Derby Museums, in collaboration with the Stories of Change project, is launching a pair of exhibitions challenging our understanding of the energy stories in everyday objects. Spread across the top two floors of Derby’s finest Georgian townhouse, Pickford’s House, these exhibitions will showcase objects never before seen and delve into their history, production and conservation.

‘Energetic’ is the culmination of an ambitious research project led by the Open University in partnership with the Universities of Bath, Birmingham, Exeter, Sheffield and South Wales. It is designed to stimulate lively conversations about energy by looking in a fresh way at its past, present and future. Drawing on stunning photography alongside thought-provoking art and music, this project encourages the use of storytelling, rather than scientific data, to confront our collective energy and climate change challenges.

Dr Renata Tyszczuk, who leads the project said:
“It is easy to forget that the story of humanity’s relationship with energy over the last two hundred and fifty years is one of constant change: some incremental and some dramatic. The Derbyshire region, the hearthplace of the industrial revolution, is a powerful place to explore these themes, and hence the Future Works strand of the Stories of Change project has worked with themes of industry and energy in the past, present and future, throughout the Derwent Valley. Today climate change and air pollution are prompting a new chapter in humanity’s energy story. So this is a good time to remember that one thing about stories is that you can always change the ending.”

The second exhibition, ‘Pictures of Power’, will draw on Derby Museums’ collections to consider the energy stories hidden inside everyday objects and actions. Looking at objects made of different materials from around the world, we’ll explore the way things are made, who makes them and the cost to the planet of their production and use. From Royal umbrellas to radium spectacles, ‘Pictures of Power’ will use incredible objects to tell these stories.

Daniel Martin, Curator of Making for Derby Museums said:
“There is a hidden cost to every object in the museum’s collection, and the continued storage and conservation of our objects can be an energy-intensive process. Derby Museums are being very brave in confronting these costs to see what the environmental impact is of running a museum. The materials in a single object can come from all over the world, with so many processes required to make them useful. This exhibition takes a really fresh approach to thinking about what goes into making objects from our fantastic collections.”

The exhibitions open to the public on Saturday 9 December 2017 and run until Saturday 10 February 2018 at Pickford’s House, Friar Gate, Derby. Derby Museums will ask visitors to ‘Give What You Think’, as a donation, when visiting this exhibition.

For more information, please contact Emma Hallam / 01332 641925.

Notes to Editors

Derby Museums
Founded in 2012, Derby Museums Trust is an independent charitable trust which is responsible for the rich cultural and creative history of Derby. It manages three sites across the city, the Museum and Art Gallery, Pickford’s House and The Silk Mill, and holds and curates all the art and collections within them, including the world’s largest collection of paintings by Joseph Wright of Derby.

The Trust’s aim is to bring as many of the objects and treasures in the collections into the public domain as is practically possible and present them in ways that delight and inspire, via education and learning programmes, events and exhibitions, in order to share knowledge and inspire creativity and making amongst the people of Derby. As a charitable trust, Derby Museums relies on funding and grants from organisations and donations from businesses and the general public, all of which is gratefully received in order to ensure that admission to the museums remains free for all.

The Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill
Derby Museums has secured major grant funding of £9.4m from the Heritage Lottery Fund, £2.5m from Arts Council England, £4m from Derby City Council via the Local Growth Fund, and support from a range of charitable trusts and foundations for the £16.4m development to create the Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill. The project will open up the whole of the Silk Mill, creating beautiful spaces to inspire our visitors and will provide access to 100% of Derby Museums’ collections of Making and Social History.  The new museum will have our communities at its heart and be uniquely co-produced with the people of Derby over the next few years and is due to open in 2020.

Arts Council England
Derby Museums has been funded by Arts Council England since 2012 to deliver improved museum facilities and services in Derby. From April 2018 Derby Museums will become an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation.





Emma Hallam
Marketing and Social Media Coordinator

TELEPHONE +44 (0)1332 641925

Follow us: @derbymuseums @derbysilkmill

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