‘A Northumberland Menagerie’ is a stunning series of new exhibitions by artist Bethan Maddocks.
A ‘menagerie’ is the term used for a collection of wild animals kept in captivity for exhibition. Museums Northumberland and Bethan Maddocks invite you to explore our menagerie of extraordinary new animal-themed exhibitions across our four museums. Discover stories of Northumberland’s animals – past and present, real, and imagined – through Bethan’s magical, paper-cut installations.
At Woodhorn Museum, the historic colliery Cage Shop has been transformed into a giant temple to the worker bee. Exploring collective working, community, and the environment ‘Bees, Bees, Hark to Your Bees!’ symbolically connects the miners who toiled together underground with the collective workers of the beehive. Based on the folkloric tradition of ‘telling the bees’ important news, visitors are immersed in community stories and invited to share their own. In May, a second installation, ‘Work, Rest and Play’ opens in Woodhorn Museum’s main Cutter Building, sharing stories of pit pony life and drawing parallels with the hard work, close community and environmental impact experienced by colliery communities.
Find out more via our website museumsnorthumberland.org.uk, artist Bethan Maddocks‘ website www.bethanmaddocks.com, or via the Northumberland Menagerie Instagram feed @northumberland_menagerie
With artist thanks to: Jona Aal for technical assistance, Catriona Maddocks and Rémi Bec for artist assistance, the Staff at Museums Northumberland, the many artists, collaborators, and researchers who helped along the way and to all the communities, both human and animal, who donated their time and stories to ‘A Northumberland Menagerie’.
‘A Northumberland Menagerie’ has been made possible with public funding from Northumberland County Council and Arts Council England.