The Lost Language of Nature with Janetka Platun and Saffron Walden Museum

Help shape a new community art project for Uttlesford to explore migration and belonging, inspired by the global taxidermy bird collection at Saffron Walden Museum.

Artist Janetka Platun will work with diverse community groups from across Uttlesford district, to explore people's own experiences of and relationship with migration, belonging and making or finding 'home'.

With a strong focus on the voices of people who have not traditionally been recorded in the museum's records, the Lost Language of Nature project seeks to empower participants to make connections and explore their own heritage. Taking the global taxidermy collection as a starting point for creative workshops, encounters and discussions, Janetka will encourage museum visitors and non-visitors to share and explore their own stories and experiences.

Janetka and Saffron Walden Museum will launch the commission on Wednesday 17 August at the Lost Language of NatureFamily Fun Day, where people can find out more, share their own stories and begin to shape the commission itself. Also at the event, nature-based storytelling, wildlife hunts, a falconry display and children's craft activities will help connect people with forgotten or hidden stories, words and traditional beliefs to explain wildlife and the natural world.

The Lost Language of Nature commission runs until the end of 2022. If you and your community or group are interested in being part of the project, please contact Saffron Walden Museum on llon@uttlesford.gov.uk or 01799 510333. The commission is made possible by generous funding from Essex Cultural Diversity Project and Saffron Walden Museum Society.

Charlotte Pratt, Learning and Outreach Officer at the museum, said: "The Lost Language of Nature project is a new way of working for the museum, and we are thrilled that Janetka is joining us for the project. We are looking forward to working with her to creatively form new relationships with communities across the district, discover and share new stories and to help transform the way the museum thinks about the items in its collections.".

Janetka said: "I'm delighted to be working on the Lost Language of Nature Project at Saffron Walden Museum. Some of the most interesting experiences in my career have involved the opportunity to view extraordinary museum objects that trigger surprising and unexpected creative responses with the public and in my own work."

The Lost Language of Nature Family Fun Day is on Wednesday 17 August, 10am to 4pm. No booking necessary. Standard admission fees apply (£2.50 / £1.25 / under-18s FREE), additional charge for children's craft activities.

9 August 2022