How did I miss that there is a series on BBC about cabinets of curiosity?
Probably because I’ve been busy working with Tara Downs and Bart Sabel as they develop their own, which launches at Gloucester Waterways Museum this weekend – Saturday 28th February.
There are some great things going on in local museums (I’m tucked between Gloucester and Bristol and Cardiff). Artes Mundi has just wound down at the National Museum in Cardiff, and it’s the last chance to see the wonderful glass and ceramic show Ahead of the Curve at Bristol Museum, which ends this weekend.
I’m increasingly interested in how we can share audiences and enhance a visitor experience by juxtaposing new work with contents of collections. It really does invigorate both the visual arts and the museum sector. I confess that I always found museums a little unappealing as a child – don’t touch, whisper, keep behind the red cord. So imagine my delight to be working with museums now and actively involved in breaking down barriers (or not putting any up in the first place!).
So at Gloucester Waterways Museum you are allowed to touch things, open drawers and enjoy the movement you can activate – digital and mechanical blend into a fascinating mechanism that celebrates ingenuity and engineering. Then checkout the museum and find out how other mechanisms were designed to create the canals and keep them moving. And this cabinet has responded to THREE museums in Gloucestershire – so gain a glimpse of the collections at the Holst Birthplace Museum and Museum in the Park – visit all three to get a real sense of the work in situ.
And come October, at the Burton Museum, the Bideford Black exhibition will be opening, with all kinds of wondrous responses to this sticky, deep black earth pigment found near Bideford.
All worth going to see and enjoy.
Textile Coding Roll Projector, part of Miniature Museum of Museums by Tara Downs and Bart Sabel
Translation – Ghost Series: Ming & Bristol Blue 2014 by Meekyoung Shin.
In the permanent collection of fantastic ceramics from China at Bristol City Museum – it’s made of soap!