Create to Connect

Create to Connect, Day 21 – Recycled portraits

The challenge today comes from the National Justice Museum, based in Nottingham’s old Shire Hall and County Gaol. They work with people outside the museum to shape and inform what happens inside the museum; to share the collection, to connect, include and represent people from all backgrounds. One of the museum’s artefacts is a detailed self portrait sculpted from a bar of soap, made by somebody living in prison (picture below.) To the museum, this carving symbolises ingenuity and the power of creativity.

Can you carve, sculpt or make a self portrait out of something you have to hand? It could be soap, newspaper, bread, masking tape, playdough, whatever you can find, and whatever inspires you. Share your portraits using the tag #IngenuityPortrait and the National Justice Museum will share them in their project space as part of an exhibition in 2021.

“As you’d expect from a museum of crime, law, justice and punishment, the spaces and collection are evocative, full of brutality and beauty, trauma and hope. Every single object and space in the museum collection has the potential to captivate imaginations and ignite new perspectives. There are several ingenious soap carvings in the Justice Museum collection, some would have been created in workshops others have been crafted by people in their cells using their finger nails or objects around them to carve with.”

Andrea Hadley-Johnson, at the National Justice Museum

If you have more time … 
The soap portrait from the museum has the letters ‘BAD’ carved into the back of it. Can you write or imprint your initials, a secret message, or a title on part of your portrait?

What does creativity mean to you? What has the act of ‘doing, thinking and sharing’, making and creating meant for you in this current situation?

Share your work in a way that works for you – online or offline. You could join our friendly Facebook group, keep a journal, share in a WhatsApp group, with your friends and family, or on social media. The choice is yours

Find and follow The National Justice Museum on:

Instagram: @JusticeMuseum

Twitter: @JusticeMuseum