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Object in Focus 2021

Fri 7 May 2021

For eight years Trinity Laban has been part of Object in Focus, an annual programme funded by Arts Council England which aims to improve access to the Horniman Museum and Gardens’ collections.

This year the conservatoire is playing host to two large ammonites, which were installed at the Laban Building in early March and will be displayed until mid-September.

Related to squid and octopus, ammonites are a diverse group of extinct molluscs. Of the pair, one is a 12kg example of a Titanites, dating to around 150 million years old, that was found in a quarry in Swindon. As its name suggests, the late Jurassic ammonite grew to gigantic proportions, reaching up to 1.5 metres across. The second specimen is a Parkinsonia, found in Dorset, which is around 170 million years old.

To accompany the installation, Horniman Museum will deliver two recorded digital talks: a Curator’s Lecture and fossil tales from a Storyteller. These will be accessible on our Take Part at Home pages, alongside downloadable creative activities for all ages.

The Object in Focus will act as inspiration for our staff, students and alumni over the summer term. We’re encouraging our community to respond creatively and playfully and be part of the digital challenge by sharing their responses using #objectinfocuschallenge.

Laura Woods comments –

“This is the first time Trinity Laban has hosted natural history objects. When I first saw the ammonites they reminded me of the spiralling lava staircases in the Laban Building, and the circular energy of Graham technique spirals. The texture, shape, origin and associated folklore of the ammonites offer lots of scope for creativity. I hope that the objects will inspire our Learning and Participation programmes and the wider Trinity Laban community throughout the summer term.”

Sarah Sinka, Collections Access Officer at Horniman Museum, comments –

“We love working with Trinity Laban on Object in Focus. The staff, students and groups always come up with fantastic and creative responses to the objects. I can’t wait to see what they do this year!”

Trinity Laban has collaborated with the Museum for over a decade. To find out more about the partnership, visit our Horniman page.

Image courtesy of Horniman Museum and Gardens.