Break the Vault!

A guest blog by artist Pui Lee about last week’s Break the Vault! family friendly workshop

Well, hello again to everyone! It’s October half term and I was delighted to be back again at the People’s History Museum to deliver another fun-filled art workshop for you all inspired by the Show Me the Money exhibition.

Break the Vault  People's History Museum 28.10.15 (16)Wednesday’s family friendly session was called, Break the Vault! and all the participants got the opportunity to create their own fabulous 3D cardboard bank vault sculpture to take home with them! The children learned about what a bank vault/safe was and they were then asked to think about what things they would personally want to keep safe – and thus, thinking about the idea of value. This could be an actual object, an abstract idea or even a person or animal! They then had to make this “thing” to put inside their vault. This could be done as a 3D response using recycled materials or be a 2D hand-drawn response.

Break the Vault  People's History Museum 28.10.15 (21)As always, I brought along an example that I made earlier and in my vault, I put a big red heart. 🙂 It was great to see all the families discussing the ideas and working on a creative project together. There were definitely a lot of fantastic vaults produced today and it was interesting to see what went into them: a favourite family photograph, a black and white dog, a football, a teddy bear and a mini love-heart, to name just a few! Some of the children also said they would also be using the vault to store some of their special keepsakes when they get home. – Now that’s what I call practical art! :-p One grandparent offered this feedback at the end, “Superb activity and the kids obviously enjoyed it – you could tell! They wanted to stay until the end to make it.” Meanwhile, another parent commented, “This is different. – We’ve never done anything like this before! It sounds really fun and we get to see the show too!”

The participants also got the opportunity this afternoon to respond to my, All the Money in the World installation, which began at the end of July this year! I had a quick look at it before I left today and gosh, it has grown even bigger since I last saw it! Initially inspired by Simon Robert’s text installation, Credit Crunch Lexicon, my participatory piece here explores the idea of wealth and value, allowing members of the public to consider their place in the world today. It was great to see museum visitors of all ages engage with the piece and it crucially stimulated relevant conversation and debate, which is what I had hoped for. The piece will continue to be on show until Sunday 24 January 2016 when the exhibition closes, so please do have a look and offer your thoughts on it too!

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