STUDENTS are celebrating the Olympics with an exhibition inspired by buried artefacts and memories of life in another culture.
Sixth form pupils and undergraduates from Durham University looked at the relations between Britain and China from 1500 to the present day.
Their work, Made in China: Exports and Experiences, is on show as part of the Cultural Olympiad for the London 2012 games, at the Oriental Museum in Durham.
The students used items from the museum as part of their research, alongside pieces found during archaeological excavations in Durham which are now housed by the Old Fulling Mill Museum.
Documents in the archives at the Palace Green Library and interviews with people from the region’s Chinese community were also used.
Items in the exhibition include early European maps of China, an English bishop’s chopstick holder, porcelain, beer mugs and Olympic mascots.
The artwork has become a section of the year-long national Stories of the World project, which is for 14 to 25-year-olds.
Craig Barclay, the museum’s curator, said: “The young people involved have committed a huge amount of their time at weekends and during the evenings over a year or more. The exhibition they have created reflects the hard work and creative thinking that has gone into the project.”
Alex Green is a student at Gilesgate Sixth Form Centre.
The 18-year-old said: “I have always had an interest in history.
“Doing Stories of the World has broadened my knowledge of a history I never knew.
“Doing this project has opened doors for me and shown me new ways of exploring history.
“I have also built up my team working skills and increased my self-confidence. I have made new friends locally and from all over the world.”
Heather Lawton 17, is also a student at the centre.
She said: “I’ve always been fascinated with history, and Stories of the World offered opportunities that I wouldn’t have experienced without joining.”
The students have been worked alongside Tyne and Wear Museums and Middlesbrough Museums, as well as staff at the Oriental Museum, to explore their collections.
The project has already led to a display of Manga-inspired work in Durham, with other parts of the programme based on the journeys of Captain James Cook as the young people found out about their history and mapped out their own journey of discovery.
The Oriental Museum, in Elvet Hill, is open from 10am to 5pm, Monday to Friday, and noon to 5pm at weekends.