Help us win an artist

The Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust has reached the finals of an exciting art competition as part of the national Museums at Night campaign, funded by Arts Council England.

We are now calling on all our supporters to help us win first prize by voting online in the Connect! art competition. If we receive the most votes, we will have the opportunity to work with leading contemporary artist Aowen Jin, named by The Times as “one of tomorrow’s great artists”, along with £3,000 funding to put on a spectacular free evening event at Enginuity for the local community to enjoy on Thursday 27 October.

Jin would work with local residents and the Museum to discover Coalbrookdale’s real life stories from different periods in its history. These would include both the world changing stories from the Industrial Revolution and human stories of what it’s like to live or work in a World Heritage Site today, and visit the much-loved museums.

These stories would be transformed into remarkable works of art created using UV paints and displayed in a darkened gallery. They would only reveal their images when illuminated with a special UV torch.

Chinese-born British artist and social commentator Jin has a unique position as both an outsider and an insider in Chinese society. Much of her work questions why people live the way they do; she spends years living within a community or embracing a sub-culture to create new insights into contemporary society.

Jin explains her vision for the event, “Imagine a gallery that’s filled with magical figurative stories, like the Sistine Chapel, but that can only be seen using UV torches. As you move the torch around the gallery in the dark, the paintings on the wall come to life and appear and disappear as your beam of light moves from one image to another. The paintings are inspired by the history and collections of the Museum itself, reflected through the eyes of the viewers”. Jin is also interested in using balloons to shape the space, painted with UV ink, which can then create a temporary 3D installation that can also be explored with UV torches.

To win the competition we need to beat off stiff competition from other shortlisted attractions including Compton Verney Art Gallery and Park, Warwickshire; Rhondda Heritage Park, Wales; Torre Abbey Historic House & Gardens, Torquay and Fulham Palace, London.

To help us win this amazing competition, please visit and vote for Ironbridge from 11am on Friday 29 April. All votes must be cast by 9pm on Saturday 14May and the winners will be announced on Monday 16May.

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