If we had to start from scratch, who could find flint and make an axe?

I certainly wouldn’t be able to. I realised this whilst I was looking at a wall of them with Jess Collins in Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum. On the 16th of June, we stood there for five minutes, the timeline of the Earth’s evolution surrounding us, and getting existential.

Coming to ‘Climate Stories’ at the RAMM was a brilliant excuse to pick up my pen and paper after a hectic third term at University. For a few moments, I could slow down and broaden my tunnel vision to the big, beautiful picture that is our planet.

Peter, Jess and Katie had each chosen an exhibition to show us and talk about. After my conversation with Jess, I wrote ‘Survival Kit’ for the future generations who will live on Earth. Joining Katie in the bug room, she reminded me that a bee dies after it stings someone. I had completely forgotten this and realised I could add a new branch of narrative to a poem I had previously written.

Although I ran out of time to look at Peter’s choice, those who visited the sleds and the Arctic Exhibition wrote some beautiful work by the end of the session. Returning to the RAMM for only the second time, I feel like the poetry I created after this workshop has rekindled the appreciation I had for museums when I was younger. They are buildings of free and invaluable education on our doorstep.

Working with ‘Climate Stories’ has set off a spark. The workshop was a reminder to me that inspiration is everywhere, but it only shows itself once you start looking. I now feel excited and compelled to research past my humanities degree and talk about my values and vision of an ideal world.

Philippa Uden

Philippa took part in the Creative Writing public engagement workshop run by Sally Flint on Saturday 16th June at RAMM in Exeter

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