This coming weekend sees an explosion of events as part of the inspiring Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes project.
Artists, curators, historians and more have been busy gathering, making, building and creating to bring you some very special visual treats.
Hidden Heroes at Quay Arts
From 2pm on Saturday and running for six weeks, Quay Arts in Newport will be hosting an exhibition like no other you’ve seen before.
With a focus on the seven headline Hidden Heroes, expect to see some extraordinary and highly-innovative commissioned artworks. From puppet-making to 3D modelling, with one artwork even being controlled through the Internet of Things and your tweets.
Up close for the first time
The artworks will be on show alongside some precious and fascinating items from the Heritage Service’s collection.
You’ll be able to see up close the nose cone, steering wheel and blown tyre from Thrust 2 (which held the land speed record during the 80s and was built on the Island), a fully restored Enfield 8000 city electric car (designed on the Island in the 1970s), and from further back, how about a Jutish sword blade, or the bones of a dinosaur that you can touch and hold?
Maritime heroes at the Classic Boat Museum Gallery
Also opening on Saturday 10th February (from 2pm) will be the Hidden Heroes exhibition at the Classic Boat Museum Gallery (which runs until the end of September).
Expect to see a wealth of information, objects and photos of ‘Joe’ Carstairs, a hugely eccentric and an openly gay, powerboat racer who set up her own boat yard on the Island in the 1920s. She was known in the 20s as ‘the fastest woman on water’.
You’ll also be able to find out more about Uffa Fox, yacht and boat designer, adviser to the admiralty, friend of the Royals and a renowned Cowes Character.
Other Hidden Heroes include the Rev Charles Paterson who led the Mission to Seaman during WW2, Sir Christopher Cockerell, who developed the hovercraft and Blanche Thorneycroft, the first woman to be made a member of the Institute of Naval Architects. Sam Saunders and Tommy Sopwith collaborated to build the very first successful flying boat which took off from the River Medina.
Queens and smugglers at Carisbrooke Castle Museum
The Carisbrooke Castle Museum Exhibition also opens on 10th February and runs throughout the year until 28th October 2018.
The team at this brilliant museum have created new displays to celebrate the diverse Hidden Heroes of the Isle of Wight. Stories include the father of Seismology (the study of earthquakes), intrepid smugglers turned life-saving lifeboat men, people who celebrated and saved the Island’s culture and heritage and those who took a stand for what they believed in, often against the established ways of their time.
And there’s more
There are also many more IW Hidden Heroes events taking place over the Island in the coming weeks, including an exhibition at the Museum of Island History at Guildhall in Newport which is on right now.
Don’t forget there is a series of talks at Quay Arts (next talk 14th February).
The Travelling Museum returns next week to towns and villages on the Island between 12th to 16th February.
Details of all these brilliant events can be found on the Isle of Wight Hidden Heroes Website.