A NEW exhibition will unearth some of the hidden stories behind Warrington Museum and Art Gallery’s collections.

The internationally renowned Susan Stockwell is about to launch ‘Hidden Histories, Untold Stories’ at the Culture Warrington venue.

Running from Saturday to January 31, it will highlight the museum’s role as a cultural collector and storyteller and bring to life the tales of how some of its 200,000 objects came to be displayed there.

Warrington Museum is one of the oldest museums in the country.

The town’s first mayor William Beamont laid the foundation stone for the current building 165 years ago.

So Susan’s exhibition will celebrate the story behind its eclectic and wide-ranging collections but also how it has changed over the years – with a look at how museums across the world are changing to better reflect their communities.

Susan said: “As one of the oldest museums in the country and a hidden gem, Warrington Museum and Art Gallery also has one of the most varied collections, covering everything from ethnology, archaeology, natural history and Warrington’s own social and industrial history.

“I was inspired to learn more about the stories behind its objects – who originally made them, and what were they used for? I wanted to explore how the museum’s objects help us understand our history, and how the act of collecting and displaying things links to our modern obsession with consumerism and ownership.

Warrington Guardian:

“We’re also in a period of social change and questioning, and I wanted see how the museum’s collections could help us engage with current debates.”

In developing the exhibition, Susan was also inspired by Warrington’s history, and in particular the role of women.

Another piece of work will see a dress sculpture placed inside the museum’s Cabinet of Curiosities gallery to reference the absence of women’s stories throughout history.

Susan has previously had her work exhibited at the likes of Tate Modern and all around the world from Katonah Museum of Art in New York to The National Museum of China.

Roger Jeffery, producer at Culture Warrington, added: “I’m very excited to welcome an artist of Susan’s international standing to exhibit at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery. This is a very timely and important exhibition and I’m very much looking forward to the fresh perspective Susan will bring to our collections.”

The project has been made possible thanks to the Arts Council England-funded Meeting Point, a national programme from Arts and Heritage that partners leading artists with museums and heritage sites.

Steph Allen, executive director at Arts and Heritage, said: “Susan is well known for making beautifully crafted objects with an aesthetic, but behind each one is a more complex story.

“She’s not shied away from exploring how the collections at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery help us understand our history, and how they connect audiences with contemporary issues such as climate change, ecology and migration.”

Hidden Histories, Untold Stories opens at Warrington Museum and Art Gallery on Saturday. The exhibition is free to view