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Anglo Saxon Inspired Art at the Oakwood Day Centre

16 October 13 -- jsuess
Gill Munday, Learning and Access Officer, Oxfordshire County Council Museums Service

In September, older people in Faringdon were given the rare opportunity to examine an Anglo Saxon sword, several brooches and other treasures close-up at their local day centre.

These artefacts, excavated several years ago during the construction of the local bypass, are normally kept in storage at the Museum Resource in Standlake. In a project funded by Arts Council England (through the Oxford ASPIRE partnership), museums conservator Sarah Morton, talked about the rare items and using digital microscopes made them really accessible to the participants.

Later, the Learning & Access team and local artist Helen Jacobs helped people produce their own copper brooches and create a felt wall hanging inspired by the Anglo Saxon patterns and designs. This was a truly inclusive and stimulating project which day centre staff, participants, museum staff and Helen all thoroughly enjoyed. Even one gentleman who had worked on the bypass had been unaware of the archaeology that had been found in the area and it was a privilege to observe how animated and involved everyone became during the creative process.

The wall hanging and some of the brooches will be on display at the Oxfordshire Museum in January as part of an exhibition which brings other community projects together along with Roman and Anglo Saxon artefacts from the museum collections. Oakwood Day Centre is operated by Age UK.

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