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The Hobby Cave

Members of the public are invited to take part in The Hobby Cave, the largest ever exhibition of the UK’s hobbies.  From makers and modifiers to crafters and collectors, Inverness Museum and Art Gallery, alongside the arts organisation Artangel and award-winning artist and Spider-Man enthusiast Hetain Patel, is inviting people to share details of their hobbies to inform a nationwide project that will take place in 12 locations across the UK from Summer 2024.

The Hobby Cave will celebrate the millions of people across the UK who dedicate their spare time to activities they are passionate about.  It will explore how individuals express their identity, character and creativity through their favourite pastimes.  The inaugural exhibition will open in London in July 2024, featuring  thousands of unique hand-crafted objects loaned by hundreds of people with contributions invited from hobbyists such as costume and cosplay makers, crocheters and knitters, wood carvers and model makers, ceramicists, robotics engineers, origami specialists, augmented car enthusiasts and many more.   This will be followed by curated presentations at partner venues across the UK throughout 2025.

At the heart of the project is a new film by Patel, which explores the outstanding creativity and passion that people put into their hobbies.  The film adopts the artist’s trademark style of combining high-end cinematic production with scenes from the everyday to showcase ephemeral pastimes and handcrafted objects in a visual language usually reserved for Hollywood films and luxury advertising.

Hetain Patel said: “I’ve always been obsessed by handmade things. Growing up in Bolton, in a working class culturally Indian household, we ate with our hands, and many of my relatives worked as part of the manual labour force in local factories. The empowering thing about hobbies is choice, and doing something on our own terms. The creative act is really hopeful, with huge benefits to us individually and something that connects us to others regardless of our differences.” 

Want to get involved?  Submit hobby details at: artangel.org.uk/mapping-our-hobbies   

Commissioned and produced by Artangel.

National partners include : Factory International, Manchester; Glynn Vivian Art Gallery, Swansea; Grundy Art Gallery, Blackpool; Museum of Making, Derby Museums Trust; National Festival of Making with Blackburn Museum and Art Gallery; Wolverhampton Art Gallery; Barnsley Civic; Northern Gallery for Contemporary Art, Sunderland; CCA Derry~Londonderry; Hospitalfield, Arbroath; Inverness Museum and Art Gallery and Tate St Ives.

Supported by the Guardian Angels.  With thanks to Creative Lives.