We thought the most difficult part for us was to narrow down our list of objects: equally difficult was deciding how to display the objects. Fortunately for us we had expert advice from Stella, the curator of the exhibition. Our colleagues Elaine & Laura from Collection care were on hand to ensure the conditions in the cases were suitable for the objects being displayed. Humidity is constantly monitored and the lux meter was deployed to record the levels of light. We had to be careful that the objects weren’t over exposed to light, that the shadows didn’t obscure the display and that the cases were aesthetically pleasing.
We felt a huge sense of relief, and pride, that the objects we’d chosen worked well with the themes and looked good in the cases. We realised how important working together was and how the various components within the working group had their part to play in bringing the proposal to life. It was very much a team project and we thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
The exhibition opened on the 16th March, and we took the opportunity to wander around observing visitors and trying to gauge their reactions. We were delighted to see people sharing their thoughts, enjoying the space and taking time out in the Reflection Area. We hope that many more visitors and staff will be moved to share their experiences with us.
In keeping with the ‘Reflection Space’ created for the exhibition we wanted to get the thoughts and responses to the items from some of the exhibition team. Stella, the Main Curator, maintains that she couldn’t possibly have a favourite item as she cares for all the objects equally in her role as Visual Collections Manager. However, twisting Stella’s arm for a favourite item she revealed that she had soft spot for the Isabella Banks case.
Harry, from the Engagement Team, particularly likes the cameras in Li’s case. He’s fascinated by the knowledge that one of the cameras contains a film, and part of that fascination is that we, the audience, have no idea which one it is. He’s let his imagination wander and was pondering whether one of these cameras could suddenly flash and take his photograph.
Julie, another of our Engagement Team colleagues, expressed an interest in dsh’s glasses and the fact that they were such a personal item. She imagined him wearing them and wondered what he would have seen and how it influenced and impacted on his work.
We hope that you will be able to join us for Collections Encounters and other activities that the Engagement team have planned linked to this exhibition. Details of all the events accompanying Life of Objects are to be found here: What’s On Guide. Or why not share your thoughts on the exhibition #jrlobjects @TheJohnRylands