I was reminded, last Friday, by the concentrated look in a young visitor's face, just how fascinating the Shropshire County Council Artbox was, and that it had yet to feature as exhibit of the month.
As young Henry turned the handle on the side of the huge treasure chest and the ravens clapped their steel-can wings while the workings of the automata creaked like the calls of the huge birds, Henry was transported to another place where strange and wonderful stories are more than plausible.
In the Summer of 2007 the museum was lucky enough to be able to take up a long term loan of the “Artbox”. It was originally commissioned by the Eric Robinson Arts Trust from artist Andy Hazell to tour paintings from the trust’s collection around schools. It then found its way into a corridor at Shropshire Council Museum Services headquarters and disappeared from the public eye. Fortuitously, when in a meeting with our County Arts Officer we learned of its whereabouts and the loan was negotiated and signed and the Artbox found pride of place within the museum.
In Mythstories it serves a twin purpose; it acts as the museum’s exhibit store; but, most importantly it plays a role as a storyscape for the endgame of the tale of “The Treasure of Stokesay”. Check out the story here and you’ll understand why we were so pleased to have the amazing artefact in the museum.