24 Hour Inventive Factory at The Novium Museum, Chichester

Inventive factory – and inventive is exactly what it was. 

Remember when you were a child, and the only part of the Museums you loved was the basement in the Science Museum. (Okay and maybe five minutes staring at the gigantic towering fossils)

This 24 Hour Inventive Factory, to me, felt exactly like that.

It was about reconnecting with your inner child – whilst learning things you’d have no other way of knowing.

The whole event was created when the Novium Museum was announced the winner of Culture 24’s national Connect! Museums at Night competition. This meant that they got to bring award winning artist Yinka Shonibare MBE to Chichester to lead an event – and how innovative this man was. The inspiration was a gentleman called Colin Pullinger, who invented the first humane mousetrap and worked in the ‘Inventive Factory’, his workshop in Selsey. With the help of Shonibare, the team used this inspiration to turn the Novium Museum into The Inventive Factory for 24 hours.

The Novium Museum Team with Shobinare

The Novium Museum Team with Yinka Shonibare

The team was wonderful, chatty and bright – and after being slyly questioned thoroughly, each and every single one evidently knew everything there was to know about West Sussex heritage. Their passion shone through in their actions – they rushed around adamant that every single thing would run through perfectly. And they did damn well. (Plus they had adorable hand made aprons on!)

Four of the Novium Museum Team

Four of the Novium Museum Team

There was art everywhere you looked. These beautiful handcrafted angels were made by the Aldingbourne Trust’s Creative Arts Studio. I can’t explain to you how inspiring this organisation is. ‘We believe in strong partnerships between social enterprise and charity fundraising to give adults with learning disabilities real choices and more independent lives.’ I don’t even know how to praise this enough, what could be a more important cause.

Angels overlooking the Chichester Cathedral at the Novium Museum

Angels overlooking the Chichester Cathedral

One definite highlight of this fabulous evening – was this band. The Top Bananas. I imagine when searching for something fitting into the inventive category, this hilarious peculiar distinctive band when straight to the top of the list. Laura, one of the many energetic staff running the event,  told me she stumbled across the band randomly when she attended a friends wedding – and what a find that was. They were keen on improvisation, and damn good at it to. From No Diggity to Bohemian Rhapsody – they covered it all across their two sets, and got a barrel of laughs from their audience while they were at it.

The Top Bananas at the Novium Museum

The Top Bananas at the Novium Museum

Amongst many many things going on that night, if you ventured up to the top floor you would’ve found this wonderful inspiring artist drawing right in front of your very eyes. The picture he so expertly drew in front of my very eyes, was of the second band directly in front of him. For those of you who know me, you’ll know I can barely draw a stick man – but still, it may seem small coming from me, he was spectacular.

Live artist at The Novium Museum

Live artist at The Novium Museum

Many interactive child focussed things were dotted all around the Museum, which as the launch was a Friday evening there wasn’t many of. However, the countless adults seemed to love it! And I have no doubt that the next morning all the children enjoyed learning through play too.

'Join in' drawing at The Novium Museum

‘Join in’ drawing at The Novium Museum

What a wonderful event this was! I’d love to tell you the countless things I learned about this historic beautiful city… but that would spoil the surprise when you went.

Get yourself down to the Novium Museum!

Stay Sassy,




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