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September 2010 News Update

The museum is proud to announce a number to things this month. Firstly, Mellany Robinson is to officially join the Museum as project manager in October. Mellany has a long affiliation with folk - as a child in the Seventies, her father's deep love of folk music and copy of the ubiquitous 'Folklore, Myths and Legends of Britain' made a vivid impression on her young mind. After graduating from the Royal College of Art with an MA in History of Design, her working life has been within the creative, commercial and museum worlds: working in fashion, documentary and advertising photography (as an agent and as a commissioner) and at the National Gallery, the V&A and The Gilbert Collection in an administrative and collections management capacity. Her experience brings a unique perspective to the Museum of British Folklore project and we are very excited to be working together to take things forward. Also we can now disclose that we have joined forces with Naomi Russell & Partners who will be steering the project through the rocky seas of fundraising, as well as a whole raft of strategic planning over the next twelve months and beyond.

This month has seen the development of an exhibition programme to run over the next twelve months. This runs hand in hand with an outreach education programme tied to each exhibition. Pending funding we hope to present -

1. Dark Britannica: The Witchcraft Counter Culture in 1950’s Britain
Mid Nov, 201l, London (Venue to be decided)

2. A History of Fire Festivals in Britain
5th Nov, 2011, (Venue to be decided)

3. Black Eyes and Lemonade Revisited
Sept 2011, London (Venue to be decided)

4. Folklore in Photography: From Benjamin Stone to the present day
(Venue to be decided)

5. Suffolk Folklore and the Doc Rowe Legacy
May, 2011, (Venue to be decided)

The research and development period for the exhibitions starts in mid October and will involve meetings with archivists, collectors and established museums. It promises to be an interesting and varied programme and will no doubt lead to other outings for the museum caravan.

The first of the exhibitions is confirmed -

From the Cradle to the Grave: Songs and Poems from Caithness
8th – 16th Oct 2010, Thurso, Scotland

The Caithness exhibition will open during the Royal National Mòd. It first took place in 1892 and received the royal charter in 1973. The week long festival is Scotland’s premier Gaelic event and features competitions celebrating the Gaelic language and culture through music, dance, drama and literature. www.caithnessmod2010.co.uk



The museum’s installation has been sponsored by the Highlands and Islands Enterprise, which is the Scottish Government's economic and community development agency. The installation will appear within the windows of a shop on Thurso High Street, the owners of which have kindly loaned their space. A giant book will have a series of plasma screens showing shadow puppet films inspired by a range of historic and comtemporary songs and poems from the area. The stories refer to stages in life and rites of passage such as birth, infancy, love and courtship, divination, handfasting & marriage, omens and death, as well as those that refer to the traditions, landscape and daily life of the Highlands. The work aims to appeal to a broad range of people, both familiar and unfamiliar with the Gaelic language and folklore and also will be the core of an in-school education programme encouraging young people to create their own shadow puppet shows based on their own stories.





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