Two Experiments: Breadfruit and Quinine workshops

Half marathon notice

Visitor notice: On Sunday 4 March Cutty Sark and the museum car park will be closed for the Vitality Big Half Marathon. All other museums will be open as normal and DLR and rail links will be running. Find out about road closures

Essential information

Event type: 
Date and time: 
Sunday 21 May and Sunday 28 May | 1-4pm
Queen's House, Orangery & South Parlours
Talks & courses

Join us for two separate workshops using plants that have a strong connection to the history and legacy of the Empire. Participants will have the chance to build on the work of woman botanists of the past to create edible delights that shed light on Britain’s past. 

Sunday 21 May – Breadfruit

From Joseph Banks to Captain Cook, Polynesian cultures to enslavement and emancipation in the Caribbean, the journey of the breadfruit is a history of Empire in one edible package.

By working together to create breadfruit punch – with or without rum! – participants will trace connections between the contentious and violent history of these encounters, learning how breadfruit became a staple food far from its place of origin.

This workshop is free but booking is essential. There are 10 places are available for this workshop. 

Book tickets - Breadfruit

Sunday 28 May – Cinchona Bark (Quinine)

Originally utilised by the indigenous Quechua people of South America, the bark of the Cinchona tree connects the invasion of these lands to the spread of Empire, as the anti-malarial qualities of the plant became known to Europeans in the 17th century.

Whilst learning and sharing together as a way of exploring this fateful history, participants will produce homemade tonic water to take home.

This workshop is free but booking is essential. There are 10 places are available for this workshop. 

Book tickets - Cinchona Bark

About the artist

Rebecca Beinart is an artist based in Nottingham.

Her on-going project, Urban Antibodies, imagines the city as a living organism;, looking at sites of toxicity and vulnerability, healing and care - with a focus on plant knowledge and medicine.

Drawing on historical research into the development of pharmaceutical drugs based on plants, and sites connected to the collection, categorisation and processing of plant material, Rebecca’s research focuses on plants and their stories - from locally gathered herbs, to the exploration and import of ‘exotic’ plants through the era of British colonialism and the development of botany as a discipline.

Read more about Rebecca Beinart


This workship is part of the Unearthing series.

What hidden knowledge can we uncover if we think again about how history is recorded, and for whom?

What happens to our sense of place if we look at Britain’s maritime heritage from a range of different cultural perspectives? 

Unearthing is a series of artists’ interventions curated by artist, writer and independent curator Sonya Dyer. 

All workshops are free, but booking is essential. Refreshments will be provided.

Other events in the Unearthing series

Distorting the line: Globes, Maps and Movement workshop