Objects of Love, Hope and Fear: a World Collection

From talking drums to ornate weapons, this co-produced display of objects from around the world will captivate your head and heart.
Collection Highlights
About the collection

Highlights of our world collections are showcased in the Objects of Love, Hope and Fear: A World Collection, with ordinary and extraordinary objects from around the world. The exhibition is built on a foundation of shared experiences that are common to people across the world and these values, emotions and actions have shaped and informed every step of the project.

The room is arranged into seven zones entitled Consume, Believe, Create, Conflict, Furnish, Adorn and Communicate. Each of the objects you’ll experience in the gallery has a history of human connection, having been crafted, used, loved, lost, stolen, collected, stored or hidden and now displayed with the greatest of respect. They connect to historic events full of pain, joy and everything in between. From talking drums and wooden pillows, to weapons and jewellery, each zone will offer both comfort and discomfort and we challenge you to not find something that captivates your head and heart.

Thousands of people worked closely with us to co-produce this stunning display of 1400 objects. We are indebted to everyone who offered their time, energy, skill, honesty and knowledge. The people on the streets of Derby, the co-production volunteers and new friends across the globe who have cleaned, photographed, researched, interpreted and displayed this important collection of objects. It is through being open with each other that we can fully connect.

We invite you to explore and admire the objects and to take time to talk with other visitors in the gallery to discover new perspectives and different points of view. One person’s object of comfort will symbolise oppression to someone else; find out what people think and why.

With thanks to our friends at V21 ARTSPACE you can explore a tour of the gallery below.

What can I see?

A set of seven suitcases, full of incredible objects to hold and explore, will pop up in the gallery. The objects they contain are not replicas; they’re the real deal! Friendly co-production volunteers will share their story of the gallery and support you in your quest to learn, experience and encounter.

Pick up our friendly telephone full of welcome messages. We’ve recorded greetings in a variety of languages that the kind people of Derby have left for visitors to the gallery. #CityofSantuary

Some of the objects you’ll see in the gallery went out onto the streets of Derby with us on a series of walks to connect with as many people as we could. Historic combs visited barber shops and shoes headed into shoe shops. Click here to check out the interactive map that documents some of those object walks and the people we met along the way.

What can I do?

Experience a compelling soundscape that drifts and swirls around the gallery. The music was co-produced by talented composer Adam McCready of Poetical Machines and contains recordings of visitors playing the historic instruments you see on display. There’s plenty of space to dance too!

This vibrant gallery has been created with people, for people. The space is yours and we hope that you’ll find time to relax, react, discuss and respond while you’re here. The bookshelves contain reading material and a set of trails designed by co-production volunteers. Leave your thoughts about the objects and themes that matter to you. Take time to talk with someone new.

What can I learn?

Learn about the objects from around the world and how they came to be in Derby Museums. Understand how these amazing objects appeal to the diverse and interesting people living in and visiting Derby. Learn about each other and how to use the space as a friendly community gallery.

During Covid pandemic some of the interactives in this gallery have been temporarily removed to keep our visitors safe.

Some of the images in our Collection Highlights were created by photographer David Edge.