YAG Workshop, Tuesday 15 April 2014
The Museum’s new Re:Think space has opened and the Youth Advisors were the first group invited in use it. Working with artist in residence, Maria Amidu, the Youth Advisors met with the Asian Senior Citizen Club group to learn more about how the space will work and had a play. We also met with Exhibitions Interpretation Curator Hannah Kay to learn more about how the Museum tells stories and writes labels for the objects it displays. The Re:Think space features Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle and is designed to be a space for conversation, learning and participantion to understand and share the artwork and it’s themes.
The Asian Senior Citizens Club group worked with Maria to make a film about spices for the Museum’s Traders gallery. In 2009 some of the Youth Advisors also worked with Maria to learn more about the East India Company, so both groups had their stories to share and the Youth Advisors showed some of the images from their Traders Remixed exhibition.
After sharing lunch, we all had an explore of the space. Youth Advisor Davina said, I like the fact it’s interactive, there are things to do and it’s a big space. Youth Advisor Ruth added, I like the space, it’s really cool. I like the whole idea of it and it’s really interactive.
The Asian Senior Citizens Club really liked the space, commenting:
It’s a great space for people to come together and talk and discuss history
We can learn from each other, it’s very friendly
It makes you feel like you can do anything
In the Re:Think there are areas to make paper boats, and also areas to leave your ideas of what you would put in a bottle. Some of the Threads Summer School work, which was inspired by Yinka Shonibare’s artwork, was displayed in the cabinets.
We then met with Hannah Kay, one of the Museum’s Exhibitions Interpretation Curators and she told us more about how the Museum writes labels and how big this responsibility is. She told us as soon as something goes on a label it becomes a fact, and it can be difficult to explain things in a way that will make everyone understand the object or story fully. Youth Advisor Josh commented, The label writing was good fun – thinking about how to write in a concise way.
Maria then showed the groups how to make a nail from wax. She will be working with people to produce their own nails which will become part of a big collaborative work commemorating all the people involved in shipbuilding. Once the groups had made their nails, they wrote their names on a board so they can be included in the artwork.
It was great to see the space and be the first group to use it, working with Maria and the Asian Senior Citizens Club. Youth Advisor Shezara said It’s really cool that [the Asian Senior Citizens Club] are here. I want to volunteer for them – they can adopt me!
I hope we can work together again soon and we’ll definitely spend more time in the Re:Think.