The beautiful man

The beautiful man

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Hat Works Volunteering

I have begun to do some volunteering work at Hat Works Stockport, just general tidying and helping take down and set up exhibitions. December 6th was my first meeting with the head of curatorial services and to look at what I could do.  The museum has lots of inquiries on the history of items and their provenance so I will be involved in doing some research work and helping with the exhibitions. So first one was to change the What's Hot exhibition of Molly Bunce's work. One of the first key things you note as a maker of work is that we are less protective of it than a museum curator; it is ingrained within them to ensure all pieces are handled with gloves and correctly stored, so as I noted with volunteering with Leeds Archive I have a lot to learn. The process of numbering and packaging correctly is key, the administrative element is highly important, something else to note.
Good Golly Miss Molly piece
Good Golly Miss Molly, unique fabric distortion work
When Laura Kate Scott then brought her work for inserting into the cabinets then the process was observed from the other side, and watching the curator's face as Laura just popped her hats on the floor after they had been cataloged was interesting! So all pieces are described and the collection given a temporary accession number then signed for ensuring a value is placed for insurance purposes. Then to display I was offered to do it all myself but felt that it was important to learn the processes that Hat Works followed. The hats were 1940's inspired so it was key to create that look and add to the visitors understanding of what they were experiencing, a very different approach to Molly's which were left to stand n their own with the distortion technique being centre stage.

Working with the stands that are available and ensuring that the hats can be supported effectively to display them and not damage them are all key aspects to be looked at. The spacing in the 3 cases and how this works best with the hats to be displayed were all considerations, which were the iconic pieces to stand alone; which hats worked as a group and complemented each other; how did they view together. The exhibiting process is quite traditional (I would need to look further for ideas as to how to effect this), as the work of Laura has a 1940's feel this was fine and the ability to add other pieces from the collection to enhance the reading was very effective. The exhibition is on at Hat Works, Stockport until April.

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