Weaving a little magic at the Hunt Museum as culture meets medicine

Dean Reddan, St. Gabriels Disability Centre; Una Hussey, Recharge at The Hunt Museum; Veronica Santorum, willow artist; and Laura Holland, Cook Medical. Photo: Alan Place.

THE HUNT Museum, together with Cook Medical, is offering people in Limerick a chance to weave a little magic through a new project that focuses on biodiversity and collaboration.

The partnership is part of RECHARGE, a Horizon Europe funded project, which aims to connect museums, businesses, and the community in a new sustainable participatory business model with real social benefits.

The Hunt Museum is currently focusing on environment and biodiversity and has taken inspiration from the willow patterns on many of the ceramic pieces in its collection to collaborate with Cook Medical in creating the new project.

For the project, which was developed with community groups from Limerick City Build, Limerick Island Partnership, St Gabriels, Paul Partnership, and St Mary’s School, the Hunt Museum will be hosting willow weaving classes for the public, while Cook Medical will do the same for its employees.

Willow weaving can be used as a form of physical therapy and encourages both creativity and a connection to the environment.

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To celebrate the launch, living sculptures were crafted and woven from willows on the grounds of the Hunt Museum and Cook Medical. The Hunt Museum features four sculptures, while Cook’s grounds boast a willow stent and fence.

Speaking about the project, Hunt Museum Director and CEO Jill Cousins said: “The focus for 2023 is climate and we are delighted to partner with Cook Medical to link their green team and grounds to our museum’s garden and biodiversity, while also benefiting many Limerick communities.”

“The collaboration has already been hugely successful with community participation at the fore.”

Seamus Lloyd, Head of Facilities and Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at Cook Medical, added that the company are “thrilled to work with the Hunt Museum and use our time and resources to have a positive impact on the community and environment”.

“We’re passionate about preserving and enhancing the biodiversity on our site, so this project is particularly special to us.”

Willow weaving classes at the Hunt Museum can be booked on HuntMuseum.com/whats-on.