Ruthin Craft Centre
The Centre for the Applied Arts

Residency Image

Cabinets of Curiosity, Mai Thomas

12 April – 13 July 2014

Cabinets of Curiosity, Mai Thomas.
Studio 5

The history of museums and galleries has its beginnings in the display, by private individuals of collections of objects and artefacts. These collections were sometimes known as ‘Cabinets of Curiosity.’

The Studio Space will be designed in the form of a giant cabinet, housing artefacts and objects, which can be handled and explored during hands on workshops during the residency period. These workshops will be devised and delivered by Mai Thomas artist and researcher during the 12 week period.

The artefacts in this cabinet are from collections held by Bodelwyddan Castle and Denbighshire County Museums. They have been selected for their connections to the themes found in the work of Claire Curneen and Kevin Coates; currently exhibiting their work in the main galleries here at Ruthin Craft Centre. Both artists themselves have been inspired by the magnificent collections of curiosities at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and the National Museum of Ireland, Dublin, respectively. It is hoped that our engagement with some of Denbighshire’s treasures will arouse curiosity and a desire to visit our very own ‘Cabinets of Curiosity’, right here on our doorstep.

The focus of this project and collections is to use these objects and artefacts to inspire creativity in our community and act as starting points for making our own artwork. During the participatory sessions ideas will be developed for new handling collections and learning resources, in collaboration with different artists, based on the research.

This is a research project that has been devised and will be delivered by artist Mai Thomas as part of her PhD studies at Glyndwr University. It will run for 12 weeks as a pilot in conjunction with Ruthin Craft Centre and the Museum and Heritage Services at Denbighshire County Council.


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For more information please call +44 (0)1824 704774 or email: