This exhibition, the first of its kind, explores Britain’s November the fifth celebration through the history of Fire Festivals, the Gunpowder plot of 1605 and the astonishingly vivid advertising and packing of domestic fireworks from the 20th century. The history of fireworks in Britain will be vividly brought to life in this multi-media display.
The main body of the exhibition will look at the vital artwork connected to the design and display of 20th century Fireworks. This promises to be a nostalgic sweetshop of delight for visitors with fireworks from all the main UK companies, such as Standard, Pains, Wessex, Brock’s and Astra on display. Visitors will recognize the well-known domestic brands such as Jack in a Box, Mine of Serpents, Traffic Lights and Screech Owl as they walk through a charted history of the British firework industry.
Other themes explored within the exhibition include the celebration of Guy Fawkes Night and its significance to British culture since the failure of the Gunpowder Plot of 5 November 1605, in which a number of Catholic conspirators, including Guy Fawkes, attempted to destroy the Houses of Parliament in London. From its origins in an Act of Parliament called The Thanksgiving Act, which made it compulsory until 1859, to celebrate the deliverance of the King of England, Scotland, and Ireland to the long standing tradition of fire-festivals across Britain which will be brought to life in a multi-media display.
The exhibition has been designed by Simon Costin, Director of the Museum of British Folklore. Simon is an internationally respected art director and set designer who has collaborated extensively with luxury brands such as Alexander McQueen, Hermès, YSL and Lanvin. An artist in his own right, his work has been exhibited at the ICA, London and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In partnership with the Museum of British Folklore.
With thanks to Jonathan’s Fireworks for their display at the exhibition opening.