‘Shoreline, Skyline, Treetop Messenger’ Juneau Projects

Humber Museums Partnership - ‘Shoreline, Skyline, Treetop Messenger’ Juneau Projects

About ‘Shoreline, Skyline, Treetop Messenger’ Juneau Projects

This summer during the Covid-19 pandemic lock-down, staff at North Lincolnshire Museum have been working with Juneau Projects and Invisible Dust to create a community artwork. ‘Shoreline, Skyline, Treetop Messenger’ consists of a book and sculpture, both inspired by the Museums taxidermy collection and created from artworks made by members of the public over Zoom workshops.

Juneau Projects are artists Philip Duckworth and Ben Sadler. They work across a broad range of art media including painting, sculpture, animation, performance, music and installation. Their work is often made in collaboration with other people and focuses on the relationship between society, culture and the natural world.

Juneau Projects were invited to make a new artwork inspired by North Lincolnshire Museum’s natural history collection. They focused specifically on the collection of mounted bird specimens, in relation to contemporary issues of biodiversity and species loss.

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Red-backed Shrike

    Red-backed Shrike
  • Avocet

  • Corn Crake

The artists collaborated with scientists and researchers and looked at the collection in relation to historic and contemporary bird populations in the local area. For example, according to Hull University bird scientist Lucas Mander: “There is a species in the collection that is virtually extinct from the UK: the red-backed shrike. There are a few species which have declined sharply in the UK e.g. Curlew, Lapwing, Cuckoo, Corncrake, Hen harrier.”

    Click here to see images in full size

  • Curlew

  • Avocet


Based upon this research, Juneau Projects ran online workshops in painting, papercutting, lino printing and wax modelling with people from the local area, to produce a collaborative publication and an artwork for the Museums collection. The book includes illustrations created by workshop participants and writing by the scientists.

    Click here to see images in full size

The artwork takes the form of a display cabinet similar to those housing the taxidermy bird collection, but containing bronze cast birds created by local people during the workshops.

A Young Curators program ran alongside the Juneau Projects commission. The six Young Curators; Sam De Freitas, Lucy Bowley, Lewis Robbins, Hannah Jean Moulds, Kathryn Spence and Charley Rob, came together as the Common Ground collective.

With the guidance and support of Invisible Dust and local artist Hayley McPhun, Common Ground were tasked with curating a complementary exhibition, which would be on show in the run up to the opening of the Juneau Projects installation. Their trail featured six artists in four locations along Scunthorpe’s High Street from Central Library to Frodingham Church. The artists featured; Cameron Lings, Laura Alice Thompson, Melody Clark, Anneli Frampton, Gwen Siôn and Garry Barker, were all incredibly generous with their time and support for the project. Though the trail has now finished, information about the artists, Young Curators and trail route can still be viewed on the Common Ground website: www.commongroundlincs.wixsite.com/website

The Young Curators took part in one of the wax modelling workshops with Juneau Projects. Their finished bronze birds are now part of the installation at North Lincolnshire Museum. Some of the Young Curators visited the Museum during the install. As well as this being their first opportunity to see their finished bronze birds, they also got to meet Ben and Phil from Juneau Projects and watch the installation coming together.

The project was commissioned by arts organisation Invisible Dust, as part of the ‘Surroundings’ project, in collaboration with Humber Museums Partnership. It contributes to Invisible Dust’s mission to encourage awareness of, and meaningful responses to, climate change and environmental issues. It is funded by Arts Council England through Ambitions for Excellence and Wellcome Trust Sustaining Excellence. Taxidermy photography by R&R Studio www.randrstudio.co.uk Installation photography by Nick Harrison www.harrisonphair.co.uk Film by Guy Loftus www.guyloftus.co.uk

Humber Museums Partnership