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Horniman Elephant Leg Makes TV Debut

Look out for a cameo appearance from a Horniman object in the 2010 Royal Institution Christmas Lecture “Why Elephants Can’t Dance”, which will be broadcast on BBC4 on Tuesday 28 December at 8pm.

This is the front right leg of an Asiatic elephant that was probably 5-6 years old, despite being only half-grown it is likely to have weighed around 700kg and to have measured 155cm at the shoulder. Elephants usually reach their adult height of 230-270cm at around 10 years old, by which time they can weigh in at a dancefloor-endangering 3300kg!

Sand mandala painting created in Gallery Square

 

For the past few days, the Horniman has played host to a group of Buddhist monks who have created a magnificent sand mandala painting using millions of tiny coloured grains of sand. Tantric Buddhist mandala sand paintings are painstakingly poured grain by grain to generate energies for global healing. 
 
The process began with an opening ceremony on Tuesday 30 November, featuring a Black Hat dance accompanied by Tibetan Horns.
 
  • Sand Mandala painting 1, Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
    Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
 
The monks, from Tserkamo Monastery, worked over four days to create the sand mandala painting. 
 
  • Sand mandala painting 2, Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
    Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
  • Sand Mandala painting 3, Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
    Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
 
We are delighted to say that the completed sand mandala painting has been acquired by the Museum, so visitors can continue to enjoy and learn from this wonderful object.
 
  • Sand Mandala painting 4, Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting
    Monks from Tserkamo Monastery creating sand mandala painting

Young people to challenge academics at Horniman Youth Conference

As part of the Stories of the World: London project, this weekend, we hosted the Horniman Museum's first youth conference. Challenging academics from across the UK and Europe, more than 100 young people came together to discuss the ways they are represented and how cultural organisations engage with them.

Academic speakers each presented their thesis, before giving the young audience the ‘right to reply’. The presented papers and responses were captured for publication online, which will be made available on our website shortly.
 
Finbarr Whooley, our Assistant Director said: “Museums can serve as important civic spaces where the public can engage with culture and ideas in a safe environment. We were keen to create a space where academics who write about young people engage in creative dialogue with young people themselves. Out of this dialogue we believe that new insights can be gleaned into young people’s perceptions of the world and their place within it.
 
“This all reflects on the mission of Stories of the World: London, to bring young people into museums so we can work to revitalise our exhibitions and spaces for their benefit. Across 17 boroughs, 23 museums are being re-energised by this project, which in turn benefits their 2.3million annual visitors.” 

The Big Draw

October 2010 was Big Draw month. We celebrated with two events on 16 and 23 October, with around 200 visitors taking part. The Big Draw is an annual initiative for drawing, connecting visitors with museum and gallery collections, and urban and rural spaces.

Visitors took inspiration from Pardhan Gond, picking out their favourite patterns and images and transferring these onto paper leaves using vivid colours in the style of the paintings in the exhibition. The finished leaves have been used to dress a 'paintings tree', which is currently on display alongside the Pardhan Gond exhibition.
 
If this whets your appetite for drawing, we regularly host art events, such as art courses for adults, an after school art club for those over 8 years old and family art fun for all ages

Blue Earth is back on Display

  • Blue Earth, Striking artwork by Taslim Martin, commissioned to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic Slave Trade, on display in our African Worlds Gallery.
    Striking artwork by Taslim Martin, commissioned to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic Slave Trade, on display in our African Worlds Gallery.

This striking artwork by Taslim Martin, especially commissioned to mark the bicentenary of the abolition of the transatlantic Slave Trade, has been re-etched and re-positioned in African Worlds and is looking better than ever. Come and see this dramatic piece telling the story of the global impact of the slave trade.

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