Thinktank Museum, Birmingham

Lynsey Fairweather, 16.06.2014
For Thinktank’s summer exhibition, Come Create, we put together a creative writing project for young people aged 13-16 to add a unique layer of interpretation to the objects.

The participants joined curators at Birmingham’s Museum Collections Centre for one day to look at some of the objects going into the exhibition and to write some “Twitter fiction” labels for them.

Twitter fiction is a new trend on the writing scene, with writers using the challenge of only having 140 characters to create short stories. We chose this interpretation method as it offered a creative challenge to the participants and is a relevant form of communication for teenagers.

Using the objects as inspiration, our teenagers set about writing their own stories with the guidance of freelance writer Garrie Fletcher. Garrie was an excellent facilitator, utilising creative writing games and exercises.

The objects they looked at included 1970s Kipper ties, an Indian state hat and several unique ceramics. It was amazing to see how objects can trigger such interesting ideas, from jealous lovers to separated brothers.

The finished labels will be on display next to the objects in the exhibition and tweeted from the @thinktankmuseum account over the summer. We will be encouraging visitors to write their own stories too, therefore adding an additional layer of participation to the project.

This was an extremely low cost project, around £300 for the writer’s fee, lunch for the participants and label printing. We look forward to seeing how visitors respond to the labels this summer.

Lynsey Fairweather is the participation coordinator for Birmingham Museums Trust