Encountering the Unexpected

 

We only had one taker from the Anglo West Indian Club to our first Wednesday session of Encountering the Unexpected. Happily for us though she was joined by two ladies from a nearby table who were intrigued with the objects brought along by our Natural History Curator to a specially reserved table in our Naked Bean Cafe.

Those three participants were joined by one of our long term volunteers here at the Gallery and of course Primrose! The objects chosen for this session were two taxidermy cuckoos and a large drawer of egg sets each with cuckoo egg present. Our Community Engagement Officer was there to help the conversation along and to record the session in photographs. We talked about what cuckoos made us think of, the tiny cuckoo in a cuckoo clock being mentioned as these are really quite large birds when you get the chance to see the real thing! One of our ladies said she had been brought up to understand that the call of a cuckoo was a message of ill omen and would signify a death. We talked about how far these birds travelled in order to breed around the moorland edge of Oldham and how that habitat was so fragile. We discussed their unique nesting behaviour and their neglectful parenting! As we enjoyed our coffee and cake we gazed at the beautiful bird eggs and thought that although these were sad objects they had a really important story to tell.