Well, it’s been another really busy year work-wise; stimulating, exhausting (all that driving), and a real buzz. There’s been a breath of work across the UK, but I have to thank Bristol Museum &Art Gallery and Mead Gallery, University of Warwick for trusting me to deliver teachers resources, talks and training for them. And Plymouth yet again is a city that invites me back, and I love working there. It’s a place that is growing in confidence with a vibrant cultural offer. I delivered training in October to a group of ‘Gallery Explainers’ as part of the Walk On exhibition showing across four cultural Plymouth venues, and received this great feedback :
I have today finished my last shift as a Gallery Explainer for the Walk On exhibition in Plymouth. I just wanted to say thank you for the training session which really helped today. I was challenged by a couple who were mocking the work and asking me to justify it. I remembered the exercise you showed our group in body language and in matching tone. What a buzz when they left shaking my hand and going to the next venue! I have really enjoyed talking with people and have felt the majority have engaged and gone away with a positive experience and perhaps a new way of thinking about contemporary art. An altogether fantastic experience which was enhanced by your infectious enthusiasm and love for what you teach. Thank you.
Julie Ellis (student at Plymouth College of Art)
I have been able to do more at Bath Spa University, supporting Fine Art students, and MA Curatorial Practice. Plus, I have coached six artists throughout this year; and this part of lightsgoingon is very important to me, to work with others at different stages of their career. Some of my learning has been around coaching people I know well, and how effective or not I can be as an objective coach and mentor.
I wrote more this year, writing a blog for axisweb, an article for Cardiff Contemporary and an introduction to a publication for Shrewsbury Museum. Online, I finished the 52 project, focusing on one photographer each week. What started out as an exercise to enable me to use social media effectively has become an archival resource in its own right. Painters next for 2015!
But one of the most exciting (and frustrating!) things this year has been to work with filmmaker Paul Gilbert to begin a series of short films to support making contemporary art accessible. Thanks to National Museum of Wales, Chapter (Cardiff), Bath Spa (again) and Ikon in Birmingham for letting me film inside their spaces. I have learnt so much about editing, about patience, about this new way of working (for me). The films grow out of seeing a lecture I delivered over two years ago now, gaining over 65,000 views, and I have received emails from all over the world about the talk. The end is nearly in sight – hopefully..
So, thanks to everyone that have employed me, those that have worked with me as part of lightsgoingon, and to all those that support what I do. Let’s hope it continues!