Casting call invites Derbyshire people to be part of a new artwork for the Museum of Making

A casting call, inviting local people to be part of a new artwork by international artist Red Saunders, has been issued this week from Derby Museums for the new Museum of Making.

Choosing Derby as the location for his latest Hidden Project, photographer Red Saunders will be casting hundreds of people from across the region to be characters in three giant photographic tableaux, featuring historic scenes of innovation and disruption from Derbyshire’s past. 

Hidden: Derby People Histories is being created for the new Museum of Making at Derby Silk Mill, which will open its doors to the public in 2020. The project is being generously supported by funders of the Museum of Making and Rolls-Royce, and run in collaboration with Unite and FORMAT International Photography Festival.

Red Saunders, who has also created Hidden Project tableaux for Bradford and Manchester, commented:

“I love the excitement that history gives; the hidden stories of people’s histories in particular as they are just waiting to be discovered together. In my first visits to Derby Silk Mill, I became quickly immersed in the stories of the City’s industrial past and its people’s history. Derby also holds, for me, an immediate source of inspiration in the form of Enlightenment painter Joseph Wright, whose beautiful exploration of light and dark on canvas brings together my love of history as an artist who loves photography.”

A founder member of the Rock Against Racism movement in the 1970s, Red Saunders is a professional photographer who combines his photographic practice with cultural, artistic, musical, and political activism. Through re-imagining and reproducing important historic scenes featuring the revolutionaries and radicals so often hidden from history, Red aims to shine photographic light on great moments in the long struggle of working people for democracy and social justice.

In Derby, three historic and globally significant moments for the region will be recreated on camera; working closely with local people cast as actors to tell the hidden stories of the Enlightenment, the first Factory Lock-Out of 1833-34, and the advancement of technology from 1880 onwards.

Gill Fennell, Community Investment Manager at Rolls-Royce commented:

“This is an incredible opportunity to take part in the creation of three truly unique works of art that will show how local people have been – and still are - the pioneers that made Derby. It’s so important to tell this story at the Museum of Making, which is all about inspiring people to be curious and innovative, and helping them develop skills to secure our City’s future at the forefront of technology and engineering.”

In a casting call issued last week, Derby Museums are inviting people of all backgrounds and abilities, who live and work in Derbyshire, to get involved in this once-in-a-lifetime project and to register for the casting sessions, which will take place in Derby and Allenton on 30th and 31st March.

Red Saunders will also be sharing his experiences and expertise in a Q&A session at Derby QUAD on 22nd March, and again on 23rd March with a Masterclass at the University of Derby.

For more information, please contact Vicky Washington, Marketing & Communication

Co-ordinator: / 01332 643302.

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