Object Dialogue Box at Harewood House

How does the Object Dialogue Box work?

The Object Dialogue Box provides a unique opportunity for you to instigate discussions and encourage people of all ages to talk freely and express their views without fear of criticism. It also emphasises the importance of listening to and respecting others’ viewpoints and accepting that they are not always the same as our own.

 

It has been developed as part of an investigation into Harewood's links to the slave trade - a subject that many people find difficult to talk about openly. By asking people to explore a range of artifacts, we hope that they will learn more not only about this sensitive topic, but about their own reactions to external stimuli. There are no right and wrong answers; the activities depend upon their personal interpretations and emotions rather than a set of preconceived ideas.


The box itself draws upon the structural shape of Harewood House, and then opens up much like a sewing box. As the layers are explored, more and more objects are discovered. Some examples of these objects are half a wooden sheep on a trowel, a wooden spoon covered in buttons (see image above) and a whistle in a bird cage that makes the sound of a bird.

 

The obscure elements provide an opportunity to investigate them through touch and discussion. The further the object is discussed, and the further the box is explored the more the imagination and dialogue is inspired.




 
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