By far the highlight of the week has been Oliver Bliss’s Microresidency (mainly because of the fab music he’s been blasting out of his iPad all week, including the top 30 Gay Anthems). Oly has been crafting messages of hope to the MPs who voted ‘no’ to the Same Sex Marriage Bill. He invited visitors to make their own hexagons, which will be gathered together to form the Equality Quilt later in the year. Oly has blogged about his residency here and I’d urge you to read his thoughts, and look at all the fantastic photographs of inspirational artworks made by Oly and our visitors. A personal highlight was helping out on Saturday afternoon and chatting to the lovely group from LGBT Youth North West.
We had a great meeting with Sue Sanders, Jeff Evans and Sylvia Kölling on Thursday about LGBT History Month and plans for the LGBT History Festival in February. We’re very excited to be hosting the Sunday hub of the festival and there’s lots of great events in the pipeline.
I also met with artist Phoebe Myers about her plans for the Free For Arts Festival. Phoebe is going to be making a Freedom Banner and is inviting visitors to contribute their freedoms, both big and small, which are important to them. The workshop will be held on Saturday 4 October as part of our PHM Fun Palace, and the banner will be displayed at the museum until Friday 10 October.
We’ve made some progress with the object handling strand of the project. We (myself, Kirsty our Learning Manager, Harriet our Curatorial Assistant and Mark our Front of House Co-ordinator) are setting up an object handling programme of events, which will be led by volunteers. Two of our new volunteers John and Genevive let us pick their brains about the object handling training they received at Manchester Museum, which objects draw in visitors and what objects we should include in our World War I object handling box. We’re sourcing some more 3D objects and will start trialling object handling sessions in November.
I think I’ve discovered why some people have been reluctant to come into the exhibition. I was chatting to a visitor who thought that the big ‘Work in Progress’ sign meant that they couldn’t come in because it wasn’t ready yet. Oops!
I can’t believe that we’ve only got two weeks of the exhibition left now! Coming up this week we’ve got two workshops: Re-Telling: Scapegoats, Media & Politics on Thursday and Protest Photography on Sunday. Do come along!