University of the West of England School of Art and Design

Outreach Working Group

Digital museum of THINGS

︎Everyone has things at home, things that mean something to us, things that say something about our identity and culture:
This is a fun, inclusive 1-hour workshop exploring ‘the object’ to make connections with culture, history, curation and sustainable art and design.

Using familiar resources, the workshop invites students to value their own things by telling their stories. Students will see examples of digital museums, and then produce their own exhibit to share by choosing an object, creating an image and writing a one hundred-word story.

Proving that inspiration is all around us, our everyday world will offer up prompts, ideas and themes to inspire. Exploring narrative, we will revaluate objects that we own adding meaningful value to the material world.

︎CLICK HERE if you would like to access the text only version of this session 

︎Hello, my name is Jade, and I am a second-year Fine Arts student at the University of the West of England.

The thing I do is Fine Art. There is no right or wrong way to create art. Fine Art has given me the tools to express myself every day, which gives me the thinking space to think outside the box. I use multiple creative avenues to express my creativity. The beauty of art is remembering that whatever is in your mind can be passed through into your fingertips in the name of art.

This is what we’ll be covering today:
︎Exploring character
︎Writing a story 
︎Drawing your object
To take part in this session you need:
︎ An object from home (something that means something to you personally but not a toy)
︎ Pencils, Pens and Paper
︎ Timer
︎ iPads / Computers for writing stories and taking photos 
︎ Imagination!


Meet Jade Ayino, Fine Art student at UWE. Jade talks about studying art and introduces you to the project The Digital Museum of THINGS.

︎Case Study 1
︎Oliver Jeffers

Why are some colours of crayon used more than others and how do they feel about it? The Day the Crayons Quit is a brilliant story by artist and author Oliver Jeffers, inspired by a pack of crayons. The story personifies these well loved inanimate objects creating a world of fun, empathy and creative exploration.

︎CLICK HERE to see more of Oliver’s work

︎ Case study 2

︎ The Bzoar Stone ︎Science Museum

This stone’s magical power is used to cure illnesses in some parts of the world. It looks like it could be a fossilized egg, but it’s actually a ball of hair and undigestible fibres from a camel's stomach. This one is from a camel that lived in Algeria, on the continent of Africa, nearly 400 years ago. It’s called a Bezoar stone.  

︎CLICK HERE to learn more about the Bzoar stone

Case study3
︎ A Rabbit 
︎The Story Museum

This rabbit has helped to hold a door open his whole life. That's the boring bit. 

The other thing this rabbit can do is inspire adventure. He helped his owner, Richard Adams imagine a whole world of rabbits, and that inspired Richard to write a brilliant story called Watership Down.

︎CLICK HERE to learn more about objects that tell stories

︎Exploring character

To help you to start imagining the character of your object, Jade uses the example of a superhero to personify her mug. After you’ve watched this, discuss the character of your object with a friend.

︎TASK 1
︎Discuss your object with a friend, you could think about these questions.
︎What is your object made from?
︎Who do you think made it?
︎Does it remind you of anything when you see it or hold it?
︎What is its shape ?
︎How would it talk?
︎How would it move?
︎What emotions might it have?

︎Writing a story

Think about the character of your object and write a short story, around one hundred words. You can write this by hand or type it on a computer.

︎TASK 2
Now you have some ideas about your character can you write a short story about it using one hundred words?
︎How did you get to have it?
︎What does it mean to you?
︎What name would you give your object?
︎Does it have any superpowers?
︎Does it have any weaknesses?
︎How does it feel?

︎Drawing your object

There’s lots of ways to draw. Jade demonstrates two techniques to give you some ideas for your own drawing. After you’ve watched this, draw your object to accompany your story.
︎TASK 3
Draw a picture of your object.
︎Think about shapes, features, or colours.
︎Can you add details that tell us about its character?


Have you ever visited a museum? Museums have lots of objects that all have their own stories, why not go and explore some. Jade will tell you about one of her favourites in Bristol Museum. 

︎Let’s look at some examples of what you could create to inspire you:

︎ Neptune the Wooden Knife ︎ Clover - age 10

Once upon a time in the dark and murky depths of the sink, there lived a wooden knife called Neptune.

Why wood, you ask?

Because the little girl who owned him had Misophonia. Neptune was married to Freya the Fork. One morning Neptune woke up and Freya fork was gone! OH NO! It must have been the banana bandits. 

Neptune called the cucumber cops.

︎CAPE-Y the flag
︎ Kaynat - age 12

I am naming my flag CAPE-Y because it flows like a superhero cape.

It is a Qatari flag from a country called Qatar, otherwise known as my home. This is a special item that became mine when I last celebrated the Qatar National Day. This flag comes everywhere with me.

I get to bring it with me everywhere I go because it’s so little and light. Its got dirty little stains from over the years. It’s quite old but it’s seen different places and explored and adventured with me. 

The maroon colour reminds me of the city lights and home and the white reminds me of peace around the beaches.

︎Harry the football
︎ Zaf - Age 5

Harry was a birthday present. He is green and he is made of leather. He comes to the park with me and my dad at the weekend. 

Once Harry got bitten by a dog and the dog's owner gave my dad some money to get a new ball but Harry was ok, he just has some little bite marks now. 

I play football for Ashton. 

︎Celebration Event
We’re really looking forward to seeing the work you created for this project.

Scan the QR code or CLICK HERE to share your images and take part in the UWE Celebration Event.

Please submit project work by the 7th of July and make sure you type in the name of your school, your first name and your year group before you press post.

The pictures will be posted on the padlet site and will be shared on the Outreach Project website from 12th July.