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’

Reporting March 24, 2009

Filed under: Uncategorized — enquiremanchester @ 4:32 pm

Submitted the enquire report last week.  Wow, it was a feat just to try and fit everything into a readable managable document.  I was really proud of all we had achieved and it was great to see the bigger picture and work ounderstand how everyone had worked together via their project diaries.

Both me and the teachers really benefited from having a consultant teacher around for the project.  He was a retired teacher who had the time and experience to reflect on the sessions, offer advice and provide a support for teachers during the sessions.  Through the consultant teacher’s presence I gained confidence in my approach to teachers knowing that I’d discussed any potential worries or problems with him.  One of the teachers said that having the consultant teacher around made her feel more relaxed because he understood how she was feeling and why she might feel stressed.  This reminded me how strange it must be for teachers to have other people coming in and ‘taking over’ their lessons.

The teachers we’ve worked with have been really supportive of two very open-ended and experimental projects and its made for a really exciting few months for them, for the artists, for the curators at the museum, for me and even the students as well!


Re:Curate Saturday 7 March 2009 March 12, 2009

Filed under: Alchemy Enquire,Events,Uncategorized — enquiremanchester @ 9:53 am

Re:Curate saw  students from Levenshulme High School for Girls joining their teacher, Dena, Louise, John and myself in facilitating an immersive experience for visitors to the Egypt Gallery.  I was particularly impressed with the maturity shown by the students in speaking to visitors about their work and in delivering a series of powerful creative performance pieces such as ‘Another TV Show’.  This piece investigated the idea that, by repeated exposure through the media, people may be desensitized to seeing human remains.

These interventions were developed with the artist and the students over an eight week period.  The artist, Dena Bagi, has researched the museum since December, meeting up  for discussions with curators and researching the human remains debate.  Dena is interested in the role of experimental curatorial practice in interpreting collections and objects.  The students have taken part in a session with Cat Lumb, Lead Humanities Educator, around the question of human remains and investigated the use of contemporary exhibiting techniques in the museum’s Lindow Man exhibition.

From this the young people developed their own responses to human remains on display in the gallery and created interventions in the spaces.  This enriched the debate about the display of human remains by bringing their ‘voices’ into the spaces and challenging museum visitors to consider this sensitive issue for themselves.


How we see objects March 10, 2009

St Peter’s RC High School students came to the museum and chose objects to draw without looking at the labels, then they drew broken objects, and finally they tried to make sense of a bunch of items from the ethonography collections.  What was artist Paul Needham thinking when he asked them to do this?!  And what did the students get out of it?

The idea behind all this was that Paul thinks there’s more than one way to look at an object, from making a lassoo carved from wood to an ‘impossible’ elastic band formed around a fixed rail.

St Peter’s threw themselves into the challenge of deciphering the museum objects, coming up with a whole host of ideas for their possible uses and histories as well as agreeing with some of the labels given to them by the museum!