September exhibitions and events at Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM)
28th August 2015
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This month visitors to Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum can enjoy two new exhibitions, Contours in Colour: Alan Cotton and TOUCH-LINE: A photographic Record of Rugby World Cup 2015, Exeter, talks, tours, Egyptian activities and a selection of courses. There’s also a last chance to see Social Fabric: African Textiles Today and the exhibition from the South West Academy.

September events, exhibitions and displays are listed in chronological order followed by ongoing exhibitions and then ongoing displays.

Making Money in Exeter

Tuesday 1 September, 10.30am to 12.30pm and 1.30 to 3.30pm, free drop-in

Garden reception

Find out about the history of Exeter’s money with RAMM’s curatorial team as Exeter launches its own currency: the Exeter Pound, an initiative of Exeter City Council with partners in the community, faith and business sectors. The Exeter Pound will support local independent business so as much money as possible ‘sticks to Exeter’, to build the community of local businesses and their customers and add to the brand of Exeter.

The main set of notes, £E1, £E5, £E10 and £E20 will be in circulation for three years and are designed by local artists and Si Paull from the design agency Sound in Theory in Gandy Street.

Lunchtime lecture: Metal Mining in Devon and Cornwall: Past Perspectives and Future Prospects

Wednesday 9 September, 1.10 to 2.15pm, £5 from 14 July

Meeting Room A

By popular demand, Dr Richard Scrivener, formerly of the British Geological Survey, will repeat his talk about tin mining in the South West from the early Bronze Age to Devon’s new metal mine at Hemerdon in South Devon.

Organised by Friends of Exeter Museums & Art Gallery, registered charity no. 306649. The Friends support the museum with financial help towards acquisitions and conservation., E

Heritage Open Day: Tours

Saturday 12 September, 11am, free tickets, book online

Join a free 60-minute tour of RAMM at 11am or 60-minute tour of the local history displays at 2pm.

Contours in Colour: Alan Cotton

17 September to 1 November

Alan Cotton is one of Britain’s most distinguished landscape painters, whose work is held in public and private collections worldwide. His distinctive paintings are laid onto canvas with painting knives using rich impasto pigments. This retrospective exhibition of his paintings spans over 40 years.

The exhibition comes to RAMM following its opening at the new Centre for the Arts at the University of Bath.

In 2006, The University of Exeter awarded Alan an Honorary Doctorate for his ‘outstanding contribution to the Arts’, and in 2011 he was appointed Honorary Professor for the Arts at the University of Bath. He is President Emeritus and a founding member of the South West Academy. Alan has accompanied HRH the Prince of Wales as Tour Artist to Sri Lanka, Fiji, Australia and New Zealand and travelled as Expedition Artist to Mount Everest with explorer David Hempleman-Adams.

He is represented internationally by Messum’s Fine Art, Cork Street, London.

Associated event: Wednesday 30 September, 6.30 to 7.30pm, Alan Cotton and Jenny Pery in Conversation, £8 (£6)

Course: English at the Museum

Weekly, Thursday 17 September to Thursday 22 October, 1.30pm to 3.30pm

Course free, tickets in advance from Exeter College

A course for anyone who wants to improve their English reading and writing skills in a fun and interesting way. Course tutors Tat Ruck and Sam Harnett from Exeter College will help you discover the fascinating collections at RAMM and learn essential, everyday English skills (up to Level 2). Bring pen, paper and a willingness to get involved in something different.

Tel: Sue Dart: 01392 400920,

TOUCH-LINE: A photographic Record of Rugby World Cup 2015, Exeter

19 September to 4 November

Award-winning photographer Michelle Sank’s images show the preparation, delivery and enjoyment of Rugby World Cup 2015 games at Sandy Park stadium.

Urban and rural landscapes complement portraiture to give a comprehensive visual record of the preparation for the World Cup in Exeter. The photographs of players, organisers, signage, spectators and fans reflect the importance of Rugby in Exeter’s communities.

Touch-Line is supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England’s Grants for the Arts and Exeter City Council.

Dementia-friendly Gallery Tour

Wednesday 23 September, 10.30am to noon, £15 ticket (includes companion)

This tour is for people with memory problems and their families or carers. This session begins with refreshments. The tour will look at the exhibition Contours in Colour, which features landscapes by the British artist Alan Cotton (see page 4). An illustrated information sheet is available to take home and carry on the conversation.

Part of RAMM’s programme of Living Each Season dementia-friendly activities, these activities are suitable for people with mild to moderate memory problems, accompanied by a friend, relative or carer. Numbers are limited, so to ensure the best possible experience, please book in advance. Limited disabled parking is available. Tickets should be presented at the Garden reception.

Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Activities

Saturday 26 September, 11am to 3pm, £2.50 per child, drop in

Help with a re-enactment of the mummification of Shep en-Mut. Have a go at the addictive Ancient Egyptian game of Senet. Join the Scribe School and learn how to write hieroglyphs.

Life and Death in Ancient Egypt: Tours

Saturday 26 September, 11.30am to 3pm, £2.50, drop in

Join one of our 30-minute time ticketed tours of our Egyptian Collection. Learn about the background to the collection and visit the Tomb of Shep en-Mut. Tours leave every 30 minutes from the ground floor geology corridor. Each tour is limited to 8 people, first come first served.

Local History Tour

Tuesday 29 September, 11am, £5

Join our 60-minute tour of the Making History galleries: Exeter and Devon from prehistory to the present.

Course: Pattern Design for Art, Fashion and Textiles

Weekly, Tuesday 29 September to Tuesday 3 November 10am to 1pm

Explore RAMM to increase your understanding of pattern and design. With tutor Nicci Wonnacott, develop your ideas through sketching from the collections and build a portfolio of patterns and textiles designs.

Course £77, advance bookings from Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) SW, Tel: 01392 457300, Free for those in receipt of means tested benefit.

Course: Developing Ideas from Pattern Design from the Museum’s Collections

Weekly, Wednesday 30 September to Wednesday 11 November, 10am to 1pm

Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS

This course will offer an exciting chance to work through large scale drawings and paintings and to develop ideas for paintings, illustrations, fabrics and stitching. Tutor Nicci Wonnacott.

Course £95, tickets in advance from WEA. Advance bookings from Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) SW, Tel: 01392 457300, Free for those in receipt of means tested benefit.

Course: Drawing from the Museum’s Collections

Weekly, Wednesday 30 September to Wednesday 11 November, 1.30 to 3.30pm

Exeter Phoenix, Bradninch Place, Gandy Street, Exeter, EX4 3LS

An opportunity to progress your drawings and ideas into new work, through idea development, working on large scale drawings and paintings and developing ideas for illustration and art to create interesting and new work. Tutor Nicci Wonnacott.

Course £95, tickets in advance from WEA. Advance bookings from Workers’ Educational Association (WEA) SW, Tel: 01392 457300, Free for those in receipt of means tested benefit.

Cotton and Jenny Pery in Conversation

Wednesday 30 September, 6.30 to 7.30pm

£8 (£6) ticket from RAMM or online

Gallery 20

Alan Cotton will be in conversation with Jenny Pery – artist, art historian and author of Alan Cotton. Giving Life a Shape. The conversation, spiced with humour, will reveal Alan’s early desire to become a painter, his experiences as student and teacher, his relationship with his art dealer, charitable works and seminal moments in his career. Whilst gaining insight into Alan’s unique work with painting knives, the audience will encounter his spirit of adventure, love, travel and irrepressible optimism for life.

Associated with the exhibition Contours in Colour: Alan Cotton (17 September to 1 November).

Concert: The Passion of Puccini

Tuesday 6 October, 7.30 to 10pm (Doors open 6.30pm), £25

Gallery 20

Staged extracts and arias from some of Puccini’s most famous operas including La Bohème, Manon Lescaut and Tosca performed by Devon Opera. Drinks available before the performance and during the interval.

Sopranos: Natasha Day, Lynsey Docherty, and Suzanne Manuell. Tenor: Peter Aisher. Baritones: Julian Van Mellearts and Timothy Connor. Bass Baritone: Matthew Buswell Bass: Roderick Hunt. Pianist and music director: Joyce Clarke.

Devon Opera is exclusively sponsored this year by Hawksmoor Investment Management Ltd.

Organised by RAMM Development Trust, Registered charity no 1038570. The trust raises money through its patron scheme, sponsorship, events and grant applications.


Ongoing exhibitions

Exeter’s Fine Art Collection

16 April to 11 October

An exhibition of paintings by Francis Hayman, important Devon born artist of the 18th century, alongside topographical prints and drawings of 18th- and 19th- century Exeter.

RAMM’s portrait of the artist Francis Hayman by Joshua Reynolds is on public display for the first time. This important work was recently purchased after a fundraising auction organised by the Friends of the museum and a successful application to the V&A Purchase Grant Fund. The exhibition also includes portraits and self-portraits by Hayman.

The RAMM collection of topographical prints, drawings and watercolours is a rich source of information about Exeter during the 18th and 19th centuries. A group of watercolours in this display will also shows the city as it was in the early 20th century, shortly before the devastation of the Second World War.

Social Fabric: African Textiles Today

23 May to 6 September

An exploration of the history, manufacture and social significance of African An exploration of the history, manufacture and social significance of African printed and factory-woven textiles. The designs mirror the convergence of African tastes and patronage with strong historical and contemporary trading ties from across the globe. These textiles have also influenced some of the region’s foremost contemporary artists and photographers.

Social Fabric shows examples from eastern and southern Africa including kanga from Kenya and Tanzania, capulana from Mozambique, and shweshwe from southern Africa. These cloths have the ability to mirror changing times, fashions and tastes. They provide a detailed chronology of the social, political, religious, emotional and sexual concerns of the (mainly) women who wear them. Their patterns and inscriptions vary according to the age of the wearer and the context in which the cloth is worn. Their unspoken language may be used to suggest thoughts and feelings which cannot be spoken. They are worn in secular and sacred contexts and play a central role in all of the major rite-of-passage ceremonies in women’s and, in some cases, men’s lives.

A British Museum touring exhibition. Supported by the John Ellerman Foundation.

SWAc Academicians’ Exhibition

18 August to 9 September

The South West Academy of Fine and Applied Arts’ primary aim is to promote the visual arts and culture of the region. This exhibition includes work from more than 50 artists. There is a wide range of 21st-century styles and genres using traditional and experimental media. The applied arts of photography and print are represented alongside paintings in oils, acrylics and other contemporary media.

All exhibited work is available for purchase.


Ongoing displays

Ebb and Flow: Seasonal Sounds Through the Devon Year. An installation by Chris Watson

March 2015 to March 2016

Garden entrance staircase

Chris Watson, one of the world’s leading wildlife recordists, brings sound of Devon's coast and countryside into the heart of RAMM. A celebration of the rich mosaic of habitats and wide variety of species found in our county, the work consists of four seasonal recordings from habitat types chosen for their local and national importance as well as their sonic diversity: the coast, farmland, pebblebed heathland and western oak woodland.

Summer from 21 June. Autumn from 23 September.

Chris Watson is a BAFTA award-winning audio recordist who has worked with the BBC on many of their best-known natural history productions including Tweet of the Day, Frozen Planet and The Life of Birds.

Ebb and Flow has been made possible through New Expressions 3, a national programme fostering collaboration between contemporary artists and museums and is supported by the National Lottery through Grants for the Arts.

Artist Reflections: Mark Anstee

14 February to 6 September

World Cultures gallery

Anstee’s RAMMYRIORAMA is a play on the myriorama – a Victorian spectacle of moving images. Pre-dating film, these monumental scrolls unwound to reveal painted panoramas of great historic events, heroic battles or epic journeys through newly discovered foreign lands.

Mark Anstee has produced a hand-painted poster that advertises the RAMMYRIORAMA, which promises a grand tour of the world as seen through many of the objects in RAMM’s World Cultures collection.

Mark has been commissioned to make site-specific drawing projects indoors and in the landscape for over 15 years. He has been both Leverhulme Artist-in-Residence at Stonehenge and Artist-on-Manoeuvres onboard HMS Bulwark.

Artists Reflections is funded by Arts Council England’s Major Partner Museum programme. The list of artists was drawn up by RAMM’s Contemporary Arts Panel, in consultation with Arts Council England and Arts Council Collection at Southbank Centre. Mark Anstee’s reflection on world cultures is the second of four and follows Polly Morgan’s response to natural history.

Definitely Devon: Devon Artist Network

2 March to 27 September


Local artists celebrate the beauty of Devon’s coast, country, cultural history and Roman roots using a range of media. Inspired by the splendour and diversity that characterises the county, all the displayed works are available for purchase.

Devon Artist Network

Natural history collecting and recording at home and abroad during active service.

2 June to 18 October


The First World War: From RAMM's Collection - over the 2014 to 2018 commemoration period one of the cases in RAMM’s courtyard gallery will show objects that reflect life in Exeter and Devon during the First World War, a time of momentous change for individual people, families and society.

Part of RAMM’s four-year programme of exhibitions, displays, events and activities that focuses on the First World War’s impact on the people and landscape of the Southwest. Developed with regional and national partners, it examines the wider social and cultural changes that have had a lasting effect on our everyday lives.


For more information contact Rob Mackenzie, Marketing Assistant, on 01392 265317 or, Steve Upsher, Media Relations Officer, on 01392 265103, or Ruth Randall, Audience Development Lead on 01392 265955. 

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