Enquiremanchester’s Weblog

The Manchester Museum is the lead museum in the North West Manchester cluster in a national project about art and learning for engage called ‘enquire’

enquire is on the move November 20, 2008

Filed under: Alchemy Enquire — enquiremanchester @ 2:56 pm
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We had our first meeting with Alice from Levenshulme High School on Tuesday. I’d already met with artist Dena Bagi a couple of times before in the museum’s resource centre to talk about the project.

Bagi and Day discussing enquire

Dena and I went along to talk to art teacher, Alice, about Dena’s ideas and to discuss how we could all work best together on the project.  We ran over the aims and objectives for the project which were broken down into points for students, artist, teacher/school, museum educator and museum curator separately.  The question I have identified for the project is:  How can schools, artists and museums work collaboratively to deliver successful, sustained and sustainable art projects where each of the participants is considered to be a learner? By viewing each of the participants as learners we’ll be looking at how collaborating together can also mean that we learn together and identify our own roles within the collaboration.  In considering ‘successful, sustained and sustainable art projects’ we’ll be looking at what makes a project successful, the differences for learning between longer projects and our one-off workshops, and at how we continue to offer sustained projects to schools in the future.

As the museum educator, my learning is focused around how I foster the collaborative partnership and how I develop the framework for this model of working.  Its also about what my role as a museum educator is for this project – should I be at all the delivered sessions, how much information or support do I need to give to each of the participants, and what’s the best way to evaluate the ‘success’ of the project – what does ‘success’ even mean?

The meeting with Alice reminded me that there is no ‘perfect’ way to go about a project.  I’d suggested that Dena try not to make any hard and fast plans before meeting Alice because I didn’t want the teacher to feel outside of the project from the beginning.  However, Dena did have some pretty developed ideas about what she wanted to do – the project is to be based around her practice after all – but Alice had no problem with thinking about how Dena’s plans would be appropriate for the class or the national curriculum.  So I needn’t have worried about Dena developing her ideas in advance of meeting Alice.  This might have been more difficult for other teachers though, as we’ve found in the past.

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2 Responses to “enquire is on the move”

  1. enquiremanchester Says:

    Artist, Dena Bagi, says:

    The meeting with Alice Tasker at Levenshulme High School went really well. Kate went through the aims and objectives for the project and talked practicalities. Then I told Alice about my practice as an artist and what I wanted to do in this project.

    I have recently been investigating how curatorial practice dictates how we, as viewers, perceive artworks or objects. I usually focus my studies on investigating craft associated objects separation from contemporary art. Within this project I will apply those theories to Manchester Museums Human Remains collection by investigating how and why the collection has recently been covered up.
    I’ve developed ways of empowering visitors to re curate the gallery or museum space, allowing them to dictate their own experience with the objects. These ‘ways’ have included creating artist interventions, gallery/museum tours, seminars or other educational programming. This is what students at Levenshulme high school will be doing – they will re-curate Manchester Museum’s Human Remains collection.
    Alice responded well to this concept and it fitted in nicely with their current curriculum. The class we are working with is studying Applied Arts so it is important that they understand art in a professional setting. They will work with a professional artist, curators and gallery educators within this workshop.

    We also discussed Alice’s practice as an artist and I can’t wait to incorporate this into the project. Alice discussed her work with plastics and printmaking, which is very similar to some of my earlier work. This is very exciting as I think it will fit in nicely with the project. We discussed the possibility of creating art pieces, which hung in front of the human remains collection with writing and images on.

    I will have to discuss how we will include Kate Days’ practice into this project as well.

    I am very much looking forward to the project and can’t wait to get the sessions started after Christmas.

  2. Alice Tasker Says:

    Before I met up with Kate and Dena I had lots of questions and was eager about working with Manchester Museum; I thought it’s a great opportunity for the pupils and felt it would benefit them to work with an artist who has a different specialism to my own.

    After the first meeting I was pleased with the ideas, it sounded exciting and the objectives were set out clearly. I think the group of pupils I’ve chosen will thrive from the concept and they will really enjoy being at the museum and be able to explore new ideas in that environment. I’m looking forward to gaining new ideas from Dena as they are innovative and will get the class thinking which is an important part of their assessment objectives.

    The project is very different to what they’ve done in the past so they will be eager to learn especially as they are working with professional people it will help them to understand real working roles in art.


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