Museums & Galleries Qld

Archive for the ‘Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program’ Category

During my mentorship at Logan Art Gallery I have had the opportunity to do again the two day Art and Alzheimer’s (A&A) training offered by the National Art Gallery.   Dogwood Crossing, Miles hosted training in conjunction with our local Queensland Health providers and have gone on to establish a program with the high care facility Milton House with  between three and five residence attending sessions monthly.  However I have found presenting these workshops very challenging, being much more at home presenting children’s programs.

Attending the resent training at the Logan Art Gallery has given me the chance to re-visit the key concepts on which the program is based and a few things really gelled for me.  Each A&A session is built around the verbs OBSERVE, DESCRIBE, INTERPRET and CONNECT.  On the second day we broke up into groups to do some practice tours, firstly as if we were a group not affected by dementia.  As we discussed the chosen work with each other we could see ourselves flying through the session structure in a matter of a few sentences – observing and describing then jumping straight to interpreting and connecting.  It suddenly clicked that we are doing exactly the same thing anyone would do in a guided conversation about art but with our A&A participants we just need to slow the whole process down. Read the rest of this entry »


Photo taken by Anne Keam with permission

The first day of my mentorship was spent at the Queensland Art Gallery where I was able to access behind the scenes primarily to observe a Toddler Tuesday session.  At Dogwood Crossing Miles we have been running a Toddler Tuesday program ever since attending and being inspired by the Toddler Tuesday concept presented at the Art is for Everyone conference at the Queensland Art Gallery some years ago.  I have always harboured a desire to observe a session of Toddler Tuesday and take a dip into the Toddler Tuesday archives.

Caitlin Pijpers from Regional Services kindly set up a meeting with Tamsin Head of Educational Services who went through the planning process of a typical session with me from the selection of the artwork to be viewed, identifying the central idea or theme to be explored in the session to the culminating art activity.   Art works for the session are always chosen from a piece of the Gallery’s collection on display.  The central aim of Toddler Tuesday is not to dumb art down for children, and this is quite a challenge considering the wide age range (from 18 months to 4 years,) but to share art with children through stories and activities.  Staff believe that even if concepts might be considered to be over some children’s heads this is not a bad thing.  The concepts are being mediated through familiar listening, moving and looking activities in the company of their trusted adult.  Visiting these concepts is laying a foundation for children to effectively view and engage with artworks into the future.

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The days at the end of last week were spent carrying out and watching a variety of processes. I am fortunate that Jess, a Conservator has been in attendance at the Mercy Heritage Centre while I’ve been here. She has been working on a statue approx a metre high, painstakingly repairing cracking paint and slowly bringing the statue back to its original condition. You can see in the photo that the statue has been divided down the centre line and only repaired on the LHS. It remains in its poor condition on the RHS. as it will be used as a ‘before and after’ exhibit. While watching Jess work, I was able to speak with her and get advice on reframing old photographs. After listening to Jess’s advice, I may now have the courage to try my hand at changing the backing mats, cleaning the glass inside of the frames, re-securing and re-taping the photographs back into their original frames.

The All Hallows’ School Archivist and myself had a workshop with Peter Connell on Exhibition Planning. A School display is set up in the Temporary exhibition space in the Mercy Hertage Centre (MHC) twice per year. The School Archivist is planning a temporary exhibition involving the history of the School and the influence of the Sisters of Mercy in the life of the community as well as its past students. Students will gain knowledge and links to their heritage through the displays. It is quite a large task to organise even a small scale exhibition.  This is where the Exhibition Plan comes to the fore. The document is the reference for listing which items will be displayed, where the items will be displayed, how much space is required, and the content for the wall mounted signage information panels plus the wording for the smaller text labels. I found this a very valuable and interesting exercise – especially after seeing the 26 different displays set up in the Mercy Heritage Centre. This would have been a massive task to organise.

Another interesting project I’ve been carrying out with guidance from Helen James, is developing Oject Files. On Friday afternoon we visited the Bardon Novitiate ( once home of the ‘Novice’ Sisters of Mercy – hence the name) to view items that may be appropriate as pieces for the Mercy Heritage Centre. We were fortunate to discover quite a few interesting items. I have now completed the project by documenting the objects, photographing each piece, creating Object Files and researching information on some of the pieces. What did we ever do without the Internet!

M&GSQ’s 2013 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

See M&GSQ’s website, for more information about the Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

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Guided Tours

The tour of the Blacksmith’s shop was done by Raine (pronounced Rainy) who is the only remaining qualified Blacksmith with the Queensland Rail workshops at Ipswich. She oversees apprentices doing boilermaker training by value adding their education with blacksmithing skills for mutual benefit. In addition to the work required for railways the workshop undertakes purpose built item commissions to provide strong and durable tools for special internal and external needs which also creates a range of training opportunities and revenue. The demonstrations by the apprentices as we moved around the facility were edifying.  The tour not only took us past contemporary works but also included demonstrations of molten objects being brought out of the furnace and placed under machinery designed to shape it under heavy compaction. Access to and from the Blacksmith workshop was by the ‘Traverser’ which takes up almost the width of the roadway between buildings and can stop at each arched entryway, staggered to avoid collision by engines and other motorised equipment moving from one building to another. The Traverser has a road width platform which also contains rails. Read the rest of this entry »

The Mercy Heritage Centre is a a social history museum located in a school campus as is my small museum. This makes my learning experience totally relevant to my position.  My initial introduction to the Mercy Heritage Centre collection is one of awe. It is a large collection relating the journey and history of the Brisbane Congregation of the Sisters of Mercy.
 StorageStorage practices and collection management have been the focus of the first two days of my Mentorship at the Mercy Heritage Centre. Peter Connell, Helen James and Sr Pauline have really made me feel very welcome. The focus and learning have addressed areas relevant to my topics of special interest. The staff’s experience with storage of collection items, has given me insight and sometimes simple solutions for various storage issues I’ve had. It’s great to be part of, albeit for a short time, a professional museum team, in a fully set up museum. The realisation of just how far I have yet to go to get to anywhere near their stage of development is very daunting – but also exciting to see what the final product can be developed into. They have so much knowledge and information to impart. I feel like a sponge – immersed in and soaking up all the information I can. Read the rest of this entry »

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David Mewes took me on a tour of the old workshops, focussing on them, and explained the items that were housed there and why and where they came from. The Blacksmiths Shop, Foundry, Carpenter’s Shop and the various other workshops that the museum, administration area and collections are housed in – like the Paint Shop, Wagon and Carriage Shop, Erecting and Machine Shop, Boiler Shop.  It’s interesting that my first tours by Richelle and David focussed more on the displays so it was interesting to tour the site with a focus on the site itself and what it really was/is. Really fits with the Time Tours we are doing which are the Now Tours – what’s there now and the Then Tours – what was there in the gold strike era. The oldest couple living in Croydon, born not long after the gold had declined,  were really surprised that this was their town (or what it used to be) as they drove to the hospital, the roadhouse, the supermarket every day and didn’t think much about the blank spaces in the landscape of the town. It was quite moving for them and  David gave me that very same sensation and took me beyond the displays (that are quite imposing and visually demanding as they are so big and close with lots going on) to feed the senses using the girders, nuts and bolts, bricks and hard grit of the workshops themselves to tell their story. Read the rest of this entry »

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Jana here from Croydon Shire Council. Had my first day at the Workshops Rail Museum in Ipswich as a mentee with the M&GSQ sponsored program to provide training for small museum staff all over Queensland. Thank you to them.

The Museum/s I work with as the Cultural Heritage Coordinator for Croydon Shire Council variously range from a State of the Art visitor centre with small object displays, didactic 4 sided columns of information, a small theatre with a fantastic audio- visual of Croydon’s history from gold to now with a hologram Town Crier and two screen visuals. It has an air conned, humidity controlled archive room and an air conned storage room for documents awaiting preparation for archiving, objects and tourist brochures and miscellany. It has gardens at the back with two antique Bedfords (which get prepped to run in the annual Croydon Poddy Dodgers Parade and driven proudly by generational locals), more machinery and Hans Pehl sculptures (say no more).

The four State heritage registered civic buildings all in their original locations, restored and freely open to the public have displays from modern to old style and of course, some humorous. Croydon Shire has 15 State Registered Heritage places. Read the rest of this entry »

WEEK 1 Reflections: 20 October – 26 October 2013

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What a week to arrive in Grafton, with the famous purple Jacarandas in full bloom and the Jacaranda Festival in full swing. “You’ve come at the right time of year!” is the general consensus amongst everyone that I’m introduced to.

The Clarence Valley community is passionate about their Jacarandas, but also about their visual arts, their local artists, and their regional art gallery, which was officially opened in 1988, having commenced in 1985 as a gallery run by the Jacaranda Art Society to house the impressive and ever-increasing Jacaranda Art Prize Collection. (Read more about the Gallery’s history here)

This passion and connection to the community were significant in selecting to complete my mentorship at the Grafton Regional Gallery, in addition to it being a larger scale regional gallery that would present a variety of learning opportunities and ideas to take away that could still  be realistically translated to the Caloundra Regional Gallery upon my return. Read the rest of this entry »

What an interesting and informative weekend. Speakers encouraging us to think outside the square, museum staff and volunteers sharing and exchanging ideas as well as rediscovering some of Brisbane, Queensland and Australia’s national treasures.

Attendance at the 2013 SEQ Small Museum’s Conference, run this year by the Brisbane Living Heritage Network, enabled me to meet, interact and attend a presentation given by my Mentor, Peter Connell, Director of the Mercy Heritage Centre, before taking up my two week MAGSQ Mentorship placement this week.

The Workshop, ‘ Exhibition Communication: Practical Tips for Writing Text Panels’ presented by Peter Connell was of particular interest to me, providing basic tips and standards developed for producing text panels and labels for exhibitions.

I’m very much looking forward to commencing my placement in the beautifully restored museum.

M&GSQ’s 2013 Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program is funded by Arts Queensland through the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a joint Queensland Government and Local Government partnership to support local arts and culture.

See M&GSQ’s website, for more information about the Mentorship, Exchange and Fellowship Program.

Labassa Mansion

Labassa Mansion

Riding Jacket, National Trust (Victoria) Costume Collection

Riding Jacket, National Trust (Victoria) Costume Collection

The second week of my mentorship at the National Trust (Victoria) took of where I left it – in amongst archive boxes and garment racks filled with historic undergarments at the home of the Trust’s Costume Collection, Labassa Mansion.

My mentor, Lizzie Anya-Petrivna and I had been in contact since my last week discussing the real possibility of this mentorship (and the research undertaken) becoming an exhibition. This meant that we were really focused on getting a shortlist together of garments that would fit a series of curatorial themes that we had been playing with via email since July. Day one and day two was all about sorting collection items into these themes and pulling items into ‘yes, no, maybe’ groups. This process also evidenced the extent undergarments in the Trust’s collection, something that we had thought may be one of the largest in the country.

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Museums & Galleries Queensland

122 Gerler Rd, Hendra QLD 4011

Phone: 07 3059 9740

Museums & Galleries Queensland is the peak professional body for the public museum and gallery sector in Queensland.

Museums & Galleries Queensland promotes, supports and provides services to foster excellence in museums, galleries and keeping places. We strive to ensure a future where museums, galleries and keeping places are relevant, accessible and valued by their communities.

M&G QLD Staff

Rebekah Butler, Executive Director
Debra Beattie, General Manager
Melissa Fletcher, Information Officer
Deannah Vieth, Training and Professional Development Manager
Leisha Walker, Training and Professional Development Program Officer
Donna Davis, Exhibition Program Officer
Bonnie Melrose, Exhibition Program Officer
Andrea Higgins, Exhibition Program Officer

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