So, just how does one address the huge and universal themes – of time, change and truth – suggested by this extraordinary collection of prehistoric animal bones?
Well, here’s my stab at it; a collection of flipbook-boxes – little hand-cranked animation machines – installed amidst the displays of the Balch Room. Each one is a little cave; a window on the mind of one of the cave hunters whose exploration and thinking changed the story of the world.
These draw on the early animation technologies which so fascinated the Victorians and Edwardians, of which the pioneering work of Eadweard Muybridge was such a pivotal part.
Am I going to upload some demo animation? No. This is a haptic experience, all about the rattle and hum of the rotating mechanism and the turning of the crank handle – at the rate you want to, not at which the little plastic box you are currently peering into prescribes.
So please, go and explore! Wells is a wonderful city, its museum a (somewhat hidden) gem within it; run entirely by locals and full of local stories – of international importance and with international resonance.
And if you do, don’t forget to ask the wonderful volunteers at the front desk for a wind-up torch…
And please do then tell us what you made of the experience. You can do this by writing in the special notebook which is also kept at the front desk with the torches.