One Grain

Bewdley Museum, Worcestershire
1st - 31st July 2016


One Grain was a participative research project at the old Brass Foundry in Bewdley Museum involving members of the public. One object from the museum collections was investigated everyday during July 2016 by a team of volunteers, visitors, staff, and invited experts.

Starting with a tiny apothecaries weight, 1 a ‘one grain’ measure cut from a sheet of brass forged in the Exley foundry that now forms part of the museum, we worked together to build a giant biography of a single object. Just like humans, an object has a biography. It is a point of contact for an interconnected network of people and other objects, which are themselves part of a further network (and so on). We wanted to try and tell the story of this network.

What is the material composition of the brass weight?
What is its history?
What was its social importance?
Who are the people who have held it?
What is the story of the things it has weighed? How far have they travelled?

Of course the network is potentially endless and mapping it is an impossible task, but what might it mean to try?

At the end of the research period the information was sorted, edited and formed into a publication.

One Grain was a commission by artist Joshua Sofaer for Bewdley Museum and took place in July 2016.

Liz Cowley, Collection and Interpretations Officer, Bewdley Museum
Sharon Harvey, One Grain Project Manager
Suzanne Duffield, Museum Education and Development Officer, Bewdley Museum
Alison Bakr, Museum Manager
Animation by Annlin Chao

With thanks to:
Andy Duffield, Andy Lane, Barbara Longmore, Becky Newbold, Bewdley Civic Society, Bewdley High School, Carol Mathieson, Carol Turner, Charles Purcell, Chris Grove, Friends of Bewdley Museum, Gill Edwards, Greg Evans, Halle Bobo, Jacob Mayall, Jenny Robbins, Josie Mills, Keith Thompson, Kris Thompson, Liv Ferris, Liz Hackett, Lois Hopkins, Lynne Roberts, Marion Edwards, Mary Paterson, Norman Biggs, Pauline Lowe, Penny Griffiths, Peter Oliver, Phil Crathorn, Richard Eaton, Rob Fox, Ross Iannoccaro, Sam Grove, Sam Houlston, Sophie Vaughan.

Thank you to the people who lent objects to the exhibition, including:
A M Lane, Amanda Ree, Bewdley Medical Centre, Charles Purcell, Chris Grove, Elizabeth Thompson, Gregg Evans, Marian
Edwards, Michael Danby, Mr Bechelli, Nick Pearson, Pauline Lowe, Peter Oliver, Rob Fox, Ron Bentley, Sarah Leach, Sharon Harvey, Sophie St Clair.

And all the staff, visitors and volunteers who contributed to the research.