Museum's new exhibition is a rainbow of colours

A new exhibition Bone Black, a Brief History of Colours opens at Saffron Walden Museum on 12 November.

Visitors can discover the wide-ranging materials and processes which create colour in both man-made and natural objects. Using the museum's broad collections, the exhibition traces the history of colours and explores both the making and meaning of colour across cultures and the natural world.

Bringing together the worlds of art and science, the exhibition explores how people overcame the technical processes involved in creating colour and examines the origins of colour, whether from the natural world or human invention, with objects from minerals to textiles and everything in between.

The exhibition presents a rainbow of objects, grouped by colour. Mineral specimens show the origins of many pigments and plant specimens explain traditional dyes and inks. Each colour will also be represented with a range of objects from across the museum's collections, including social history, archaeological, worldwide cultures and natural sciences.

Visitors will be able to hear, smell and touch colours though a specially created sensory table, designed in partnership with Support 4 Sight. The interactives have been made in collaboration with a range of local groups including Creative Walden, museum visitors, a local choir and the Community Shed. The interactive elements, along with an audio guide, are aimed at making the exhibition more accessible for everyone including people living with sight loss and visual impairments.

Masuma Ali, Community Fundraiser at Support 4 Sight, said: "Everyone thinks of colours differently, what a colour may mean to them, what a colour may smell like or sound like. It has been fantastic to be involved to make the exhibition accessible for blind and partially sighted people. Our default is to think of colours in relation to sight, but colours can be experienced in many different ways by people using their other senses."

Charlotte Pratt, Learning & Outreach Officer at Saffron Walden Museum and the exhibition curator, said: "I am grateful for the support and advice given by the team at Support 4 Sight. They, along with the local groups and individuals, have hopefully made this the museum's most accessible exhibition to date. As well as the sensory table, we will be trialling our first audio guide using QR codes - so it will be great to get feedback from the public on that too."

Saffron Walden Museum is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 10am to 4.30pm and Sundays from 2pm to 4.30pm (Tuesdays are reserved for schools and pre-booked groups. The museum is closed on Mondays).

Admissions: £2.50 adult, £1.25 Concessions, children free.

21 October 2022