Young artists inspired by the past

DISPLAY ... Lewis Bennell, three, and Maeve Taggart, two, sample the Precious Things art exhibition held at Bede's World.
DISPLAY ... Lewis Bennell, three, and Maeve Taggart, two, sample the Precious Things art exhibition held at Bede's World.
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YOUNG artists were inspired after they went living in the past at a Jarrow museum.

A new exhibition called Precious Things, at Bede’s World in Church Bank, features the work of children from the town’s Primrose Children’s Centre, Primrose Village.

The display is the final part of a project designed to look at how young visitors interact with the historical collection at Bede’s World.

A museum spokesman said: “The children were given access to real pieces from our collection, some of the stonework from the monastery and some of the original Anglo-Saxon glass.

“They also got to handle replica objects, a chain mail suit, warrior’s helmet, drinking horn and some jewellery.

“We didn’t tell them beforehand what the objects were, simply that they were ‘precious things’ from the past.

“We talked with children as they looked at the objects, recorded their responses, what they thought and ideas about what things might be.

“The replicas are on display in the exhibition, alongside the children’s interpretations.”

Bede’s World director Mike Benson said: “The work is fantastic, but as we didn’t have cases at the right height for the kids to see their work, the Community Payback teams helped us by building special cases, which was tremendous.”

Mr Benson said the exhibition, which it is hoped will tour after its Jarrow launch, is part of a drive to maximise community involvement in the life of Bede’s World.

A museum spokesman added: “Throughout the visit, the children had cameras to take photographs of the ‘precious things’ from their point of view. These photographs are on display.

“We also wanted to talk to the children about the idea of ‘precious things’ and what is precious to them.

“We talked about their favourite toys and teddy bears and asked the families if they would be happy to display items that are precious reminders of their children. We are most grateful that they agreed and you can see some of these on display.

“It has been a pleasure to work with the children and staff at Primrose Children’s Centre. We hope this is the beginning of a partnership.”

The Precious Things exhibition is open until Sunday, March 18. Call Bede’s World on 489 2106 for more information.