Huge artworks destined for Derbyshire's newest museum

A trio of huge artworks are destined for Derbyshire’s newest museum which opens this week.

Monday, 17th May 2021, 10:33 am
Updated Friday, 21st May 2021, 3:34 pm

The Museum of Making is set to open at Derby Silk Mill, part of the Derwent Valley Mills UNESCO World Heritage Site.

A museum spokesman said: “It will be a contemporary space telling Derby’s 300-year history of making to inspire new creativity.

“The Covid-19 lockdowns have sparked a renewed interest in, and love for, making.

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“With programmes like The Repair Shop growing in popularity, the Museum of Making will harness the nation’s newfound passion for creativity and making, encouraging visitors to get creative and inspiring the next generation of innovators."

The museum will feature more than 30,000 objects – including a trio of “amazing images recreating key moments in Derby’s social history”, called Hidden/Derby.

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Living pictures reimagine social history moments

Derbyshire's new Museum of Making opens in Derby on Friday.

The three “epic” photographic artworks – The Orrery, Sikh RAF volunteers and The Lockout – reimagine three moments in Derby’s social history “which have helped shape modern Britain and also have global resonance”, in the style of living pictures.

They highlight “the importance of scientific innovation in the Enlightenment as forged within the industrial heartlands of the Midlands, the allied pilots and crew of planes who played a decisive role in the Second World War and the moment workers were locked out of the Derby silk mills in 1833-34 – Britain’s first major industrial dispute and the beginning of the Trade Union movement”.

They have been created by renowned photographer Red Saunders and feature a number of local people after a casting call was issued, alongside a crew including Tim Heywood, head of wardrobe at Derby Theatre, who led on the costumes. as well as a photography assistant, production manager, head of wigs, head of make-up.

A spokesman said: “To give you a flavour of what the shoots were like, the shoot for The Lockout took two days, plus one day of preparation on site. Red divided the site into sections and placed various groupings in those sections, with certain roles, looking in particular directions and so on.”

In 1833-1834 disputes at Derby’s silk mills after the dismissal of a worker led to The Derby Lockout. Months of unrest pushed workers and their families into poverty. This was Britain’s first major industrial dispute, captured the attention of the nation and is still remembered as having a lasting legacy by many people in Derby.

The museum opens on Friday. However, it will not be Derbyshire’s newest museum for long, with the Great British Car Journey, featuring more than 150 classic British cars, due to open in Derwent Works, Ambergate, the following day, May 22.

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This photograph takes as its starting point Joseph Wright of Derby’s ground-breaking painting, ‘A Philosopher Lecturing on the Orrery’ (1766). Wright is known for his works depicting marvels of scientific discovery during the Enlightenment. Derby Museums is home to the world’s largest collection of works by Joseph Wright and the original ‘Orrery’ is part of the collection
Rolls-Royce Merlin engines were developed in Derby to power Spitfires, playing a significant role in the victory of the skies in 1945. This photograph honours all those who flew Allied planes during the Second World War, bringing together Sikh pilots and Royal Air Force crew, who fought together in the combined Allied forces.