‘Inspired by my Museum’


Sampad South Asian Arts and British Council India Launch a New Anthology

Birmingham-based organisation Sampad South Asian Arts and British Council India are proud to announce the launch of a brand new collection of short stories, poems and reportage compiled from the winning entries to their major international writing competition, ‘Inspired by my Museum’.

The competition invited budding writers, aged 16 and over, from around the world to record and share their personal reactions, connections or experiences inspired by a visit to a museum. Participants could respond to a museum space, architecture, design, a specific object or objects within a museum, or even a museum/exhibition curator.

480 entries were received from 32 countries around the world including Canada, Croatia, India, Ukraine, the UK and New Zealand.  Writers took their inspiration from a diverse range of museum, both large and small, including Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, BMAG (UK), the Victoria & Albert Museum, V&A (London), the Indian Museum (Kolkata), the Museum of Broken Relationships (Croatia), the Slave Trade Museum (Nigeria), the BATA Shoe Museum (Canada) and the Museum of Folk Architecture and Life (Ukraine).

The anthology was launched in Birmingham earlier this month as part of a special event hosted by Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery and Soul City Arts, which saw a range of local and international artists also taking inspiration from the museum’s environment and delivering live spoken word, poetry and musical performances responding to the gallery’s current exhibition “True to Life? New Photography from the Middle East”. 

During the event, writers of entries selected for publication were presented with their personal copies of the anthology and Frances Gapper from Rowley Regis was announced as the overall UK winner of the competition, with her entry ‘The Terror of the Oceans’ inspired by the Natural History Museum in London.

Frances says:

“I’m absolutely delighted and thrilled to have been chosen as the overall UK winner – what a wonderful surprise! I’m pleased that my tribute to the Natural History Museum was selected, as I used to love going there as a child, with family and friends  – we would always visit the awe-inspiring model of a blue whale, which I gather is still one of the main attractions. I’m proud to have a story in this excellent and beautifully produced anthology”

Piali Ray, Director of Sampad South Asian Arts says:

“We are delighted to have partnered with British Council India and the Museums’ Association to realise this project and our special thanks go to Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery for hosting the launch of this new anthology. The response from 32 countries highlights the phenomenal diversity and rich culture of museums across the globe, which has inspired some very personal and emotional reactions from the writers. We were impressed and moved by the depth, range and imagination of the resulting work”.

The three overall winning entries are:


Jaya Jain

The Fall , Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia


Frances Gapper

The Terror of the Oceans, Natural History Museum, London


Katherine Turkina

Blank Verse of Shadow Theatre. K. Malevich. “Black Square”, The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

Outstanding entries


Ashwini Gowariker

The Anchor of Wood, Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Poland

Sharmila Mitra

The Halls of Shadows, The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Gaurav Sharma

Ugly/Beauty, The Louvre, Paris, France


Andrew Lemming

Love Among the Exhibits ,Various

Lizzy Ridout

Hanging Out ,National Portrait Gallery, London

Kenneth Adams

Inspired By My Museum, Fleetwood Museum, Lancashire

Highly Commended entries


Jennifer Footman

Astarte’s Pendant, The Cyprus Exhibition, National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh


Adrija Bandyopadhyay

Nikita’s Arrival ,The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Shambhobi Ghosh

In Time,The British Museum, London

Mrudula Patil

Museum of National History, New York

Sharon Puthur

The Handkerchief, The Prince of Wales, Museum, Mumbai

Neelam Saxena Chandra

Mahatma, Anand Bhawan, Allahbad


Skye Bayley

Trapped ,Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent

Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

The Brighton Museum Cat ,Brighton Museum, East Sussex

Oran Crawford

The Day I Met Evil, Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, Poland

Philip Howard

Pauline in the Yellow Dress, Sir James Gunn, 1944: Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire

Full list of ‘Inspired By My Museum’ entries selected for publication


Cheryl Braganza

My 1964 Sexual Awakening: Grosvenor Gallery,London, UK

Jennifer Footman

Astarte’s Pendant: The Cyprus Exhibition,

National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, UK

Nayoung Jin

Seahorse: The Beaty Biodiversity Museum, Vancouver


Iva Tkalec

Ordinary Love: Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb


Louise Robinson-Brouze

An Awakening: The Egyptian Museum of Antiquities, Cairo, Egypt 8


Vinita Agrawal

Priest King: National Museum, Karachi, Pakistan

Francis Anthony

How Tropical Kerala Unearthed my Buried Cultural Memories:

Mattancherry Palace, Kochi, Kerala

Adrija Bandyopadhyay

Nikita’s Arrival: The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Anneshya Banerjee

Inspired by My Museum: Netaji Museum, Giddapahar, Kurseong

Ishani Banerji

In Midst Of Oblivion: The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Siddhartha Basak

Home: The British Museum, London, UK

Divyesh Bhandari

Museum Man: Leeds City Museum, UK

Megha Chatterjee

Kurusura Submarine Museum: Vishakhapatnam

Madhulika Dutta

Dreams: National Museum, New Delhi

Manaswita Ghosh

An Imagination from the Past, an Inspiration for the Present:

Victoria Memorial Hall, Kolkata

Shambhobi Ghosh

In Time: The British Museum, London, UK

Ashwini Gowariker

The Anchor of Wood: Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum, Poland

Anjali Gupta

Impressions…: Albert Hall Museum, Jaipur, Rajasthan, India

Nita Idnani

A National Museum on The Life and Works of Sardar Patel:

Sardar Memorial-Ahmedabad

Deepa Kylasam Iyer

Wall Paper: La Tour de la Lanterne, La Rochelle, France

Jaya Jain

The Fall: Museum of Broken Relationships, Zagreb, Croatia

Mukul Kumar

The Remnants of Independence: Swatantrata Sangram Sanghralaya,

Red Fort, Delhi 45

Sreya Mallika Datta

Inconsequentiality: Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid, Spain

Sharmila Mitra

The Halls of Shadows: The Indian Museum, Kolkata

Archita Mittra

The Silent Storyteller: Kolkata Panorama (Town Hall), Kolkata

Arpita Mittra

The Museum of Museums: The Heritage of North Kolkata

Utsa Mukherjee

Me and my Colours!: National Museum of Bhutan, Paro, Bhutan

Juhi Neogi

My Visit to the Bard’s Home: Tagore Museum,

Jorasanko Thakur Bari, Kolkata

Mrudula Patil

Museum of National History, New York, USA

Sharon Puthur

The Handkerchief: The Prince of Wales Museum, Mumbai

Mythili Rao

The Threshold: Museum at Jaipur and Delhi

Neelam Saxena Chandra

Mahatma: Anand Bhawan, Allahbad

Mithu Sen

MOU (Museum of Unbelongings):

The Cabinets at my Home, New Delhi

Gaurav Sharma

Ugly/Beauty: The Louvre, Paris, France

Vatsala Sharma

Photographs: A Window to the Past and Memories:

National Gallery of Modern Art, New Delhi

Aarushi Singh

Curiousete: CSMVS, Fort, Mumbai

Shanta Singha

She: Guwahati, Assam State Museum

Shreya Sudesh

Of Light on Legacies: Egmore Museum, Chennai

Sneha Sundaram

The Weeping Woman: Tate Modern, London, UK

Annie Besant Tresa Rani

Welcome to the Museum: The British Museum, London, UK


Zoha Ahmed

Vincent Van Gogh: The British Museum, London, UK


Martin Bennett

‘The Last of England’: After a painting by Ford Madox Brown,

Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham, UK


Shih Yen Chang

Lotus Shoes: Otago Museum, Dunedin


Emecheta Christian

The Museum: National Gallery of Modern Art, Lagos

Francis Ugochukwu Maduakor

Gloom: National War Museum, Umuahia

Ubio Obu

The Last Drum of Freedom: Slave Trade Museum,

Calabar, Cross River, Nigeria


Ariba Zahir

Of Massive Wings, Metallic Bodies And Mechanical Birds…:

PAF Museum Karachi, Shahra-e-Faisal


Katherine Turkina

Blank Verse of Shadow Theatre. K. Malevich “Black Square”:

The State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow


Milan Simonovic

When My Dream Comes True: Narodni Muzej, Belgrade


Yu Ching Tan

Glass Changes: National Museum of Singapore


Rossana Favero-Karunaratna

That Small Museum!: Yatala


Elsa Fischer

The Old Masters: “Still Life” Exhibit. – Kunstmuseum, Basel 2009


Antonina Litak

We Are All Leaves Of The Same Tree:

The Museum of Folk Architecture and Life, Uzhhorod

Alla Vovk

Kiev, Independence Square


Kenneth Adams

Inspired By My Museum: Fleetwood Museum, Lancashire

Robert Awork

My daughter and the Museum: Liverpool Museum

Peter Barnfather

Reflections: Musée du Louvre, Paris, France

Skye Bayley

Trapped: Potteries Museum and Art Gallery, Stoke on Trent

Sarah Beney

Remembrance: RAF Air Defence Radar Museum, Neatishead, Norfolk

Anna Berg

The Teacher Smiled: Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

Rachel Bourne

The Bigger Picture: Herbert Art Gallery and Museum, Coventry

Becky Bye

The Museum: Sturminster Newton Museum, North Dorset

Terry Caffrey

Glass I: St. Helen’s Glass Museum, Merseyside

Andrew Campbell-Kearsey

The Brighton Museum Cat: Brighton Museum, East Sussex

Jane Campion Hoye

Waterfall Glory: The Guinness Storehouse Museum, Dublin, Ireland

Glynis Charlton

Krill: Maritime Museum, Hull

Lynda Clark

Climbing Stairs in Karlsruhe: Badisches Landemuseum,

Karlsruhe, Germany

Phoebe Clothier

The Will To Survive: Imperial War Museum, London

Oran Crawford

The day I met Evil: Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum, Poland

Mel Cross

Salute: The Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Nija Dalal

Lost; Manchester Museum, Manchester

Linda Delderfield

Waste of Space: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham

Cathie Devitt

Kelvingrove:Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Glasgow, Scotland

Rani Drew

Heritage: Sedgwick Museum, Cambridge

Joss Emmett

Art In Every Form: The Holburne Museum, Bath

Olive Gallagher

The Cloam Oven: Combe Martin Museum, North Devon

Frances Gapper

The Terror of the Oceans: Natural History Museum, London

Rosie Garland

Sir Thomas Aston at the Deathbed of his Wife:

Manchester Museum, Manchester

Uschi Gatward

Toothbrush Ring: Huntingdon War Museum, Huntingdon, Cambridgeshire

Thomas Giles

Lost Technology: National History Museum, London

Wendy Goulstone

Earth Mother: Te Papa Museum, Wellington, New Zealand

Linda Hardy

At The Museum: Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery, Birmingham

Hilary Hares

A Gift for the Button Museum: Birmingham Button Museum (now closed)

Philip Howard

Pauline in the Yellow Dress, Sir James Gunn, 1944:

Harris Museum and Art Gallery, Preston, Lancashire

Anna Hunter

A Journey Into Awe: Ulster Museum, Belfast, Northern Ireland

Sophie-Louise Hyde

Still Credited to a Woman: Charnwood Museum,

Loughborough, Leicestershire

Lucy Jackson

Touching the Past: The Mary Rose Museum, Portsmouth, Hampshire

Simon Jackson

Sgriob: The Dufftown Whisky Museum, Speyside, Scotland

Tom Jones

The Museum: Newark-on-Trent Museum in about 1953

I.M. Khalifa

Sakura and The Ivory Carver: Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Chris Kinsey

The Meteorite Hunters: The Spaceguard Centre,

near Knighton, Powys, Wales

Brian Francis Kirkham

Another Earth: Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

Tim Knight

Between The Threshold: Fitzwilliam Museum, Cambridge

Mariia Kukkakorpi

Remains: Natural History Museum, London

Neil Laurenson

Free Admission: Salt Museum, Droitwich Spa, Worcestershire

Andrew Lemming

Love Among The Exhibits: Various (School Trips: 1975 to 1977)

Jane Lovell

Balto the Sled Dog: Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Ohio, USA

Safoora Masood

Backbone of the Town: Bankfield Museum, Halifax, West Yorkshire

S J Menary

My Ancestor and I: Jewry Wall Museum & the Nasby Battlefield Project,


Naeem Mirza

Discovery Road: Eureka! National Children’s Museum,

Halifax, West Yorkshire

Zahid Mirza

Open Spaces: Cartwright Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Frances Nagle

With Simon in Florence: The Bargello in Florence, Italy

Karen Naylor

Cobra: Wakefield Museum, West Yorkshire

Miruna Olaru

Am I not a Woman and a Sister?: National Maritime Museum, London

Verity Owen

‘Things’: Sedgwick Museum and Zoology Museum, Cambridge

Seanagh Palmer – Pilgrim

The Bayeux: Museum of Reading, Reading

Laura Parkes

Grounded by the M-Shed: M-Shed, Bristol Docks, Bristol

Kauser Parveen

The Theme of Life: Cartwright Hall, Bradford, West Yorkshire

Saiqa Parveen

The Palace Museum: Amar Mahal Palace, India

David Pearce

Harriet: Fleetwood Museum, Fleetwood

Mary Pearson

First Nation People: G Catlin – Native American Portraits,

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery, Birmingham

Lynn Pegler

Chance Encounter with a Flying Suit:

Imperial War Museum North, Manchester

Olivia Phillips

Quality Time: Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Jenna Plewes

Leave Me in the Light: Lynn Museum, King’s Lynn, Norfolk

Amanda Quinn

Wallace: Sunderland Museum and Winter Gardens, Sunderland

Joyce Reed

Poetry Reading at the Museum: Manchester Museum

Lizzy Ridout

Hanging Out: National Portrait Gallery, London

T E Samad

Long Live the Bard:Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Stratford-upon-Avon

Rebecca Audra Smith

Sea Dirge; The Manchester Museum, Coral Exhibition

Mary Stableford

Goodbye-ee: Tate Britain, London, and Ashmolean Museum, Oxford

Augustus Stephens

Jina: Victoria & Albert Museum, London

Laurence Sullivan

In The Tea Leaves: The V&A Museum, London

Alice Taylor

Cypresses: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, USA

Laurence Tilley

Kissing under the Pterodactyl, An Odd Ode:

Natural History Museum, London

Michelle Tudor

Standing Still: Hiroshima Peace Memorial Museum, Hiroshima, Japan

Jocelyn Watson

Inspirational: National Portrait Gallery, London


Elvis Alves

Three Legged Buddha (after the sculpture by Zhang Huan):

Storm King Art Center, New York

Joann Cook

Museum of Glass: Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, New York

Torsa Ghosal

Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto: Bata Shoe Museum, Toronto, Canada

Jessica Goody

“Madonna and Child”: Telfair Museum of Art, Savannah, Georgia

Ojaswee Rajbhandary

The Man in the Khaki Pants: American Museum of Natural History,

New York City 223

SJ Wolfe

Padihershef and Me: George Walter Vincent Smith Art Museum,

Springfield, Mass


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