Diversity Week

Carved Inuit Needle Case, made from ivory and leather.
Carved Inuit Needle Case, made from ivory and leather.

Grainger Museum artefacts featured in a workshop at Arts West on 21st March 2017, as part of Diversity Week. Utilising the new object based learning labs, participants had the opportunity to engage with a variety of objects that showcased the cultural and physical diversity of the Grainger Museum’s rich archive.  Working in small groups, participants explored the history and reception of their focus object, the culture from which it came and how social perceptions of that object and its cultural meanings change over time.

One participant commented:

The ability to look closely at Grainger’s obsessions is extraordinary not least because of the beauty of the objects he collected. During the workshop, we were able to inspect a piece of Native American beadwork with accompanying notes and sketches by Grainger, the drawings more like technical diagrams in their detailing of colour, pattern and technique. To see this suite of objects firsthand is to gain a privileged glimpse into the meticulousness of method and breadth of aesthetic influences behind Grainger’s creative output, an oeuvre encompassing not only musical composition but also the design and construction of radical clothing and beaded adornments inspired by these ethnographic studies. Kyle Walker, Postgraduate Arts student, UoM.

Objects included the carved Inuit needle case (see image), acquired by Percy Grainger in his fascination for indigenous material culture across the world, as a source of creative inspiration.