For the Art Clubbers Bloomin’ exhibition, I had the opportunity to work as an exhibition assistant alongside curator Annie Dam as well as being an exhibiting artist. This experience was more rewarding and insightful than I could have ever imagined. As a University student, at times creating and working with art in the professional world seems out of reach, but through this experience, I learned valuable skills about the preparation and set-up of an exhibition. I also met some inspiring and talented artists, which overall has made the idea of graduating and pursuing work in the art world seem more attainable. I’d like to thank Art Clubbers for creating such a vibrant and welcoming environment for my first exhibition experience outside of academia!
This year I worked at the Tate Exchange with PurpleStars and ArtLab the exchange consisted of ‘a series of participatory workshops that will enable visitors to explore the theme of movement’.
On my first day, I was mainly working with PurpleStars, they had created an “airport lounge” for people to come and sit in and we were encouraging members of the public to come and share a story about any journey they had taken!
One of the workshops was a ‘listen and draw’ activity, people were asked to draw in response to some sound pieces created by 1st-year art students with individual silent disco headphones.
The second workshop of Ar Lab’s was a selfie sphere which was a big shiny ball suspended from the ceiling. Participants were given the option to draw a self-portrait in this sphere and then take a 360 image with a GoPro with these self-portraits on their head, or just take 360 photos as they pleased.
The final ArtLab station was Augmented Reality (AR) through an iPad, which was displayed onto a monitor. Here people and the children especially interacted with the images of things like bats and butterflies displayed.
Overall, this was a fun and rewarding experience being able to share these fun creative workshops with the public at the Tate and hope to keep taking part in it until I graduate.
On the 19th of April, Kate asked Becca and I to help her out at a stand for PurpleSTARS during the MERL’s late Digital Takeover.
Kate and the PurpleSTARS team have been developing a Virtual Reality version of a four seasons video in the MERL that many of the students really liked. Becca and I were helping with demoing the first version of the VR before the full version is ready around Summer. It had a really positive response and it was nice to see the public encouraging the worthwhile project.
There are also further developments of a VR game with a quad bike that the Museum has recently included on request of the PurpleSTARS team. Quad bikes are what modern farmers use rather than tractors so the team are planning ideas for a game with VR where you can sit on the quad bike and herd sheep, and also making a steering for people in wheelchairs.
For my English module Literature, Language and Media I had to undertake a placement to write an academic report about. I took this as an opportunity to try to experience with related to art as well and did a placement with Reading International – a contemporary visual arts organisation led by the Reading School of Art.
Whilst working on placement, I aimed to spread the word about the events taking place to encourage more students to attend. I also had the opportunity to help artists with the set-up of exhibitions, as well as attend a summit at the Tate regarding Reading International and its partner organisations within Reading.
Projects in which I was involved were
- ‘The Critic As An Artist’ – where I did a reading of Oscar Wilde poems as part of a performance
- The Reading International Summit at the Tate Exchange – where I was note-taking during the presentations and discussions
- And ‘reading in Reading’ – where I helped with setting up and attended the events
Thus far it has been an insightful and fun experience, although my report has been submitted I hope to continue further with Reading International and their projects!
During Reading University’s Tate Exchange Becca and I volunteered with the PurpleSTARS team on the 24th and 26th of January. PurpleStars is an organisation which uses sensory and digital media to create alternative interpretations of museum collections. Their aim is to transform museum experiences and make them more inclusive.
We helped Kate and the tea with their pop-exhibition that was influenced by the Kabakov’s installation: The Man Who Never Threw Anything Away. Groups were invited to bring an item to the exhibition and to create a sensory postcard about it, using a table with different scents and feels and recording a sound onto the postcard. Each visitor was then invited to record a story about their postcard and hang it in the exhibition. More can be read about it here:
The PurpleSTARS ‘Pop-Up Museum’ at the Tate Modern
This was a really fun and rewarding project and it was great to see the public engaging so enthusiastically with the PurpleSTARS team. I hope to be more involved in future projects with PurpleSTARS as I think it can make a significant difference in making a more fun and inclusive environment in museums.
For Week 6, I attended an introduction to PurpleSTARS by Kate Allen. It explained the organization and how they’re projects with Sensory Objects aimed to create ways for museums to be a more sensory and accessible experience for those who are disabled.
It is a really interesting project seeking volunteers which I think I would partake it. We were also shown a couple of the Sensory Objects created which I was really impressed by. Kate gave us all soundcards to personalise as an initial step to the project which I hope to make in the coming weeks.
We set up for exhibition a couple of hours before the opening. We first transported everything from the art department to the Museum of English Rural life.
We then set everything up on the table with the place settings facing each other.
Below is how our set up looked, we were very happy with the results and think that it had a good response from the audience!
For our first project, we were commissioned to make an immersive sound experience for the Museum of English Rural Life, that would be showcased during a MERL Late evening at the museum. Our idea influenced by museum was to have a placemats which represented the combination of the industrial and nature in farm life, where it is considered to be a natural environment but is relatively controlled by the industrial. We had these seemingly contrasting ideas link with the same base of the placemat. The hands and setting showing that they are still linked. We also emphasised the relationship between the industrial and the natural by having opposing soundscapes with the placemats.
The overall experience of group work for a commission was quite enjoyable for me. I think our group worked very well together despite some difficulties such as having a unsuccessful concrete hand cast. I also really enjoyed working from the commission as although initially it seemed really limited working from a concrete theme, it was fun to explore and see how very differently everyone interpreted the same project and yet it all came together in a really nice setting during the exhibition. The audience seemed to enjoy the immersive experience as well so I found to project to be a valuable experience that I hope to do again!