Tag Archives: working thoughts

Daily Update: 15 March 2012

Today the power was out from first thing this morning until a little after 5pm. And due to the limited life of my laptop’s battery, I started the day in my notebook (possibly at the pub, where we maybe had lunch).

Without the distraction of the internet (in conjunction with my dead phone battery), I easily completed the final draft of my exhibition proposal (which I’d convinced myself was due tomorrow but, having just checked my diary for something else, is actually due Monday!)

I emailed my thesis supervisor, once the power came back on, about my thesis thoughts. Included the following:

My thesis ideas are heading towards looking at children in galleries (participatory programs, exhibition design, best practice, etc.) and using the NGA, NGV, and QAG as my case studies (relatively easy to visit, significant institutions, varying program structures, etc.) The general ‘question’/‘discussion topic’ I fleshed out before summer school is the following:

Children’s programs and resources at the NGA, NGV, and QAG: best practice, appropriateness of programs and resources, and the involvement of children throughout the institution.

I want to investigate the varying definitions of ‘children,’ what’s working and what’s not, where the institutions differ, how the programs are developed/run, and then try to form some concept of ‘best practice’ for involving children in Australian galleries, etc. and perhaps include some sort of exhibition proposal package as a way of demonstrating how these ideas could be realised by institutions.

Scanned Notes 17.1.12

Notes from: Hooper-Greenhill, Eilean. “Learning from Culture: The Importance of the Museums and Galleries Education Program (Phase I) in England.” Curator: The Museum Journal 47, no. 4 (October 2004): 428-449. http://doi.wiley.com/10.1111/j.2151-6952.2004.tb00137.x

Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App Uploaded from the Photobucket iPhone App
Click thumbnails for full size.

Main point I want to remember
I’m looking at children attending museums* as general visitors, not as school students.

*The term “museum/s” is used in the place of art gallery, gallery, museum, general collecting institution, etc.

Avoiding Reading 13.1.12 (plus some notes)

So, I have officially wasted yet another perfect study day due to procrastination. “Perfect study day?” you ask. Yes — the perfect study weather (slightly overcast and cool enough to rug up), no noisy neighbours, and a sleeping husband.


Source

Things I have done today:

  • Running errands in town (we booked haircuts for both of us and an eyebrow wax for me, and then we had to pick up Dan’s pay, which was of course followed by the exciting weekly visit to the post office and then brunch at the cafe)
  • Watched YouTube videos (generally titled “How I Organize my Planner” and “What’s in my School Bag” — I’m a nerd/geek/loser, get over it.)
  • Tried on outfits to wear to summer school (I want to look like me, but professional too — and many of my summery dresses feel too short for that description!)
  • Started writing a shopping list for when I visit Officeworks (nerdily excited to spend my birthday money from Dan there)
  • Taking Charlie to the beach (but not for long due to massive winds down there today — boo!)

Thesis Thoughts

I am lucky I have already hit on the broad topic I want to research for my thesis. But this is also a bit troublesome for me, due to the fact I now feel a little overconfident, and like I have already achieved my January academic goal. Really, I should be reading more and trying to narrow my focus! Especially as I am beginning to feel passionately about ‘curating for kids’ (in such a way I am hoping to do well enough to do my PhD after my MA — whereas earlier in my MA, I was not convinced I would ever be at that point, and would just keep doing odd courses to get pieces of paper).

I already feel better about my thesis topic than I did the whole year of my Honours.

And, to add something productive to my day, please indulge some random mind dribble regarding ‘curating for kids’:

  • Any interviews, surveys, etc. I want to do need to be decided upon pretty ASAP re: ethics need to be put through
  • Look into UN ‘Convention on the Rights of the Child’ (CRC) >> Articles 12 & 31 primarily re: child’s rightsto ‘cultural citizenship’
    • “…Article 12 – the right to participation – and Article 31 which defines participation in the arts contexts…” (Mai & Gibson, 2011)
    • I could look at this in general, and then see how it is/n’t implemented in Australian institutions (above article mentions QAG as a good start — can toooootally have a study holiday there haha — and NGA and NGV are easy trips also), and then move on to howit could be implemented by these institutions and others
      • Look at how these institutions have been designed by and for adults, and how they can be adapted to suit the needs of children? >> Not sure. I know the NGA had a reworking of the gallery floor when they remodelled, meaning the children’s gallery was removed (and now only seems to ‘reappear’ in blockbusters, and even then it is behind a closed door!)
        • The words ‘segregation’ and ‘integration’ come to mind here >> loaded words but they certainly seem correct

I really need to read at least one article this evening before I wake Daniel up for dinner.

Scanned Notes

Jotted some notes while reading Mai, Lea, and Robyn Gibson. “The rights of the putti : a review of the literature on children as cultural citizens in art museums.” Museum Management and Curatorship 26, no. 4 (October 26, 2011): 355-371. >> helpful starting point; lots of good refs to follow up on >> then transferred into Mendeley (when appropriate) but some notes more general ideas that popped up as I was reading.


Click thumbnails to read notes.


My ‘snoopervisor-in-chief’ for today.

The Art of Bird Watching at the NGA

As part of my undergraduate career I created a ‘mock’ exhibition to be held in the NGA’s children’s gallery. This assessment piece was one of three undergrad items I physically stored away for future use (the other two being my Honours thesis journal and a course booklet about collecting, which contained many useful references). And I am now so grateful that  I kept this assessment — it has many small points within it that are bringing forth more ideas with each re-read.

  • Using a smaller kids-orientated (and single themed) exhibition as a ‘gateway’ to the National Collection as a whole
  • Using artworks to explore a broad context in a kid-friendly manner (From this example — what is bird watching [at the gallery]?, what is a bird?, what are feathers?, how do birds fly?, nests and eggs and chicks, birds you can watch, how can you help birds?, activity::a bird you can make) — providing age appropriate materials, as well as further resources for families/schools to use outside of the gallery to continue the learning outcomes of the exhibition
  • Introducing kids to a variety of media used by artists, as well as objects the general public may not consider ‘art’ (or may be viewed as artefacts, etc. depending on definitions produced by institutions)
  • Running public programs in conjunction with the exhibitions in order to further promote the exhibition PLUS art making in general (not to mention using it as a further ‘gateway’ to the gallery)
  • Guided (or self-guided) tour of the gallery as a hide-and-seek style affair — moves children out of the designated gallery and into the institution as a whole >> ‘gateway’
  • Check the aims of institutions re: programs for children (and what are the targeted ages?) >> think about what is my definition of ‘children’?
  • Publications available in connection to children’s art gallery >> how interpreted for use by kids? parents? schools? community groups?
  • Introducing children to a variety of art styles, cultures, mediums, artists, eras
  • Display of a child friendly exhibition = low hung works, etc >> exhibition display
  • Catalogue and textual materials encourage a link between the theme and the art >> creates further interest for viewer
  • Connecting with community [interest] groups in order to widen the appeal of exhibitions
  • Continuously available activity within the gallery space allows children to physically participate within the exhibition, without having to be on site at the specific times of other organised activities
  • The addition of interactive questions within wall labels as a way of guiding children’s viewing of artworks

EDIT

This is exactly me right now, while I am doing prelim reading:


SOURCE

Texting with Mum

My mum is getting more excited about my thesis topic than me today:

Love the idea  of children’s exhibitions…You could consider one age group or families. Your library story youth could give you a few hints too so look up librarians and children’s services too…I also thought you could make up a questionnaire to send to regional galleries as the one here [in Maitland] does lots of after school and holiday workshops for kids. You also have museums and galleries to consider. You were also good at [social studies] which could give you lots of ideas too…You could compare state provision or metropolitan or rural NSW or just look at one are in detail.

Curating for Kids

I would love for my thesis to be more curatorship based this time. Therefore the idea of researching exhibitions designed for children is appealing to me more and more.

I have been importing articles, related pages, etc. into my Mendeley for future reference >> Google Scholar phrase “curating exhibitions for children”

 

Early Morning Thoughts

Working early in the morning at the bakery has it’s pros and cons. One of the cons is the time it gives me to think without the distractions of the day. This morning I was (again) thinking about my thesis topic and, in particular, a past project I wrote on an imaginary children’s exhibition at the NGA. This got me to thinking about whether or not I would like to look at the impact of art on children, or the importance of constructing exhibitions for children (and the best ways to do this). I really do feel that the arts are an important field and it should be made easily accessible to children of all ages.

Need to have a quick look around for articles related to this, to see what information is out there.