Ceredigion Museum has recently launched its brand new collection of designer gifts created by four local artists, Becky Knight, Carys Boyle, Felix Cannadam and Ruth Jên Evans.
The bespoke gifts are the result of a 6 month collaborative project between Ceredigion Museum and the four artists, supported by National Lottery players through the Heritage Lottery Fund. Drawing inspiration from the Museum’s vast collection, stunning Edwardian building and Ceredigion’s history, the project supports the Museum’s ongoing sustainability while celebrating local artistic talent.
Ceredigion Museum’s Curator Carrie Canham said, “I’m absolutely delighted with the products these talented artists have produced for the shop. They have captured the unique essence of Ceredigion Museum and created contemporary designs that I’m sure our visitors will love.”
With ‘access all areas’ permission, Becky, Carys, Felix and Ruth worked closely with the Museum staff to draw out the stories and iconic images hidden within the Museum’s collection. They would go on to produce a range of gifts that are locally and ethically produced, unique to the Museum and inspired by Ceredigion’s history, culture and heritage.
Textile artist Becky who lives in Borth was drawn to the Museum’s balcony decoration which she thought was one of the most instantly recognisable features of the Coliseum, the former theatre that now plays host to the Museum. Becky said, “I had to simplify the intricate pattern in order to create the design I wanted. I then played around with how the pattern repeated before settling on the final design.” Becky likes creating useful things that can be part of everyday life. In this way the memory of the Museum visit can be enjoyed while drying the dishes with her striking tea towel design.
Aberystwyth based ceramicist Carys discovered her inspiration in the Seafaring section of the museum. The bright, smooth lapidary jewellery stones caught her eye and the intriguing tales of these stones arriving all along Cardigan’s coast as ship’s ballast stones in 18th century enriched her travel journal and notebook design.
Photographer and musician Felix who lives in Borth was intrigued by two small illustrations of the interior and exterior of the Coliseum. The images are full of character and are a glimpse into Aberystwyth’s past. With these images, Felix created a pair of multi-layered wooden magnets with cut-outs showing these long vanished spaces.
Aberystwyth born artist Ruth discovered a collection of poster printing plates from 1940s/50s hidden in a box in one of the Museum’s artefact stores. Originally, the image would have advertised summer holidays spent in Aberystwyth but by printing them onto t-shirts combined with the words “Lawr ar lan y mȏr” meaning “At the seashore”, Ruth brought them back to life.
The product range is on sale now in Ceredigion Museum’s gift shop and Tourist Information Centre. The products are limited edition and are expected to fly off the shelves.