Katie and Claire from our New Business team recently attended the Museum Ideas Conference at the Museum of London. The conference, proudly sponsored by hsd, was an engaging and thought-provoking day, with a programme of international speakers discussing issues surrounding museums and power, representation, diversity of narrative, co-curation as well as innovative approaches to exhibitions.
Highlights from the day included a talk by Nina Finigan, Curator of Manuscripts, Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, New Zealand. Nina addressed the issues of resistance in museums and archives and posed the question – are museums/archives irredeemable colonial projects? Nina discussed how collections and archives have been accessioned and how collecting and curating is essentially political. Nina described the rich Māori history in the immediate area surrounding Auckland Museum Tāmaki Paenga Hira, and the need for greater inclusion of Māori history within the museum collection and narrative. Nina concluded that the sector should explore new ways of seeing and curating archives, actively seeking to fill the gaps.
Ryan Jefferies, Head of Programs at the Science Gallery, Melbourne, provided a change of focus exploring the success of the Museum’s recent Pop-Up Exhibitions. Set to open in 2020, the Science Gallery will provide an innovative exploration of the collision of art and science targeted primarily at 15-25-year olds. To build public interest and engagement with the project, Ryan has curated three fascinating PopUp Exhibitions entitled ‘Blood’ (pictured above), ‘Perfection’ and ‘Disposable’. Set within various locations in Melbourne, these exhibits drew upon a range of interactive techniques to engage young audiences.