THE Museum of Somerset kicks off its 2016 exhibition programme with a cracking display of contemporary work from six local artists.

Called, New Dimensions, the exhibition encompasses film, photography, sculpture, textiles and poetry.

The super six professional artists were given exclusive behind-the-scenes access to the museum’s extensive stores.

Those stores at the Somerset Heritage Centre on the edge of Taunton, is where the county’s vast collection of archives, historic books and museum objects are preserved.

The museum reserve collections are usually only available for research and academic study. But in an innovative partnership between local artists and museum curators, these rarely-seen objects will be brought to life as the inspiration for contemporary art works.

The new works will be exhibited at the Museum of Somerset alongside some of the objects they celebrate.

Sam Astill, exhibitions curator at the Museum of Somerset, said: “We are delighted to be exhibiting a new take on Somerset’s past for our first exhibition of the year.

“If you have never visited the museum before why not take this opportunity to enjoy a contemporary look at some of our historic collections.”

The six artists whose work features in the exhibition are: Jenny Graham, painter and printmaker Jenny Graham, Chris Dunseath, sculptor Chris Dunseath, Jacy Wall, textile artist and printmaker Jacy Wall, Laura Aish, filmmaker and sound artist Laura Aish, Ralph Hoyte, declamatory poet Ralph Hoyte, and Richard Tomlinson, photographer and filmmaker Richard Tomlinson.

Among the collections that captured their imaginations are Roman jewellery, Bronze Age axes, Victorian and Edwardian insect and plant collections, postcards, and machinery from Somerset’s farming, industrial and domestic past.

The exhibition runs until April 16 and entry is free. For more information, and to watch a series of short films with the artists, visit