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The Horniman Museum (2008)

Preview by Lizzie Guilfoyle

THE AWARD-winning Horniman Museum in Forest Hill has a range of exhibitions and events in 2008 – all free.

Utsavam: Music from India – February 9 to November 2, 2008.

This groundbreaking exhibition presents the subcontinent’s rich musical heritage through music, film footage and musical instruments, displaying traditional Indian music through digital images and visual recordings for the first time.

The exhibition, which takes its name from the ancient Sanskrit word ‘Utsavam’ meaning festivities and/or celebration, draws on extensive curatorial fieldwork from across rural regions of India by curator Margaret Birley and ethnomusicologist and broadcaster Rolf Killius.

Every third mouthful… – until May 11, 2008.

This fascinating exhibition, which amalgamates science and art, is derived from the assertion that ‘Every third mouthful of food we eat is dependent upon the unmanaged pollination services of bees.’

Peter Chatwin and Pamela Martin have created a series of works that explore this internationally important subject, highlighting the importance of biodiversity upon our food supply, and the uncertain future as bee numbers diminish globally.

Also on display nearby is the Museum’s famous collection of live bees. A series of special events inspired by bees will complement Every Third Mouthful…, including an Artists Discussion with Chatwin and Martin, and visitors will have the chance to make their own bees’ nests.

Chinese Embroidery – Symbols in Silk – May 2008 to September 2009.

This stunning exhibition, which draws on the Horniman’s collection of more than 4000 Chinese objects, will feature historic and contemporary textiles including beautiful silk objects, such as exquisitely decorated silk slippers, as well as altar pieces and a figure of the seated Buddha Sakyamuni.

Recycling In India – May 2008 to January 2009 – gives visitors an opportunity to find out how cast-off clothes and old saris are recycled in northern India.

La Bouche du Roi – December 5, 2008 to March 1, 2009.

On loan from The British Museum, La Bouche du Roi is a contemporary multi-media installation by Bénin-born artist Romuald Hazoumé. This incredible artwork uses more than 300 masks, arranged to recall the 18th-century print of British slave ship The Brookes.

There are also the Museum’s permanent collections, including the world-renowned Music Gallery and the ever-popular Aquarium, which opened in July 2006 after a £1.5million transformation.

Events in 2008 include summer festivals and activities in the Horniman Gardens. Visitors can also view the newly installed Blue Earth 1807 – 2007, a poignant sculpture by artist Taslim Martin commemorating the Bicentenary of the Abolition of Transatlantic Slavery, on display in the African Worlds Gallery since late 2007.

For more information call 020 8699 1872 or visit the website.

The Horniman Museum, 100 London Road, Forest Hill, London, SE23 3PQ.