Every fortnight at Battersea Arts Centre we have a Programming meeting where our Producing Team comes together with ideas for new shows, artists they would like to work with, upcoming residencies, heritage projects and community workshops. This week we held this meeting in the middle of our Museum Stores where we house the Wandsworth Collection.
In 2016 when Wandsworth Museum closed, Battersea Arts Centre became custodian of the Wandsworth Collection. Now the BAC Moving Museum cares for and shares the Wandsworth Collection of historical objects and the all-important stories they represent, tracing the history of the borough and the surrounding areas.
As custodians of the Wandsworth Collection the stories and history of the local area inspire and influence our programming. From regular heritage focused events like our Town Hall Talks series, to our current theatre season ‘Cash, Capitalism, and Corporations’, our shared history is an important piece of everything we do at Battersea Arts Centre.
Whilst surrounded by historic objects from our borough’s past, it was inspiring to plan for our future programmes. Producers were drawn to a photo series of Wandsworth prisoners from the 1980s, an 18th century paper-maiche doll from a local family, an original newspaper printing press from the Wandsworth Borough News, Neolithic tools from the local area, and letters that Communist MP Saklatvala’s wife wrote referencing his prison sentence. Along with inspiring our Producers, we are also excited about how we can use the collection to inspire artists.