A day in the life at The Lightbox

Hello there, so as we are in January - just and we are all about the new, we thought that we would share another new feature we are doing on the blog for this year.  Telling you a little bit about our other day job lives that you maybe don't see the rest of the time.

So, first up I thought that I would show you around the latest exhibition that my work, The Lightbox has on offer and I will tell you a little bit more about what I do in the day job.  If you don't already know, I work in the learning department and so I have such a varying day job, from workshops, through to preparing for visits, planning new activities and putting interactive elements into the exhibitions that we showcase at The Lightbox.  So I thought for this version of a day in the life, it would be good to show what we got up to for the latest Henry Moore Exhibition.

The Henry Moore Foundation were very involved in the exhibition itself with our own exhibition department and so I cannot take any credit for the display, they did an amazing job.  As a Henry Moore fan, I love it when a temporary exhibition such as this comes our way.  It will be on until May and so plenty of time to come and take a look if you are in the Surrey area.

Anyway, back to the interactive's for visitors to explore.  We make sure that there are always things to do for families around the building and in the exhibitions and so we knew we wanted to do something lovely to fit with the exhibition this time.  Alongside the work of the Young Curators that we work with too, but more on them later.  When making interactive's for any exhibition we have to plan what we are going to do and then agree anything with the curator of the exhibition, decide on the space it can use and how much we need vs how much we can have.  Sometimes plans have to be scaled down.  Labels have to be produced, text panels planned and of course plinths, shelves and spaces painted if need be, all while the exhibitions team are trying to get the works in and plan their own space.

There are two things for families to do in the exhibition, one is an area to create rubbings of natural forms that have been made out of plaster by my colleague (picture bottom left).  They were made by indenting clay with the natural object itself and then plaster poured and set, so that the final piece would sit just above the frame that surrounds them.  This is so that people can pop a piece of paper over the top and then rub away with crayons to make their own picture to take with them or leave behind in the frame above it.  The second interactive emulates the found objects that Moore used to keep in his studio, he had an array of bones, shells, stones etc that he used for visual reference  - just look at that elephant skull for example! (picture bottom right).  So we made an area that has pieces for people to draw, including a shell, stone, piece of wood etc and then clipboards, paper and pencils.  Nice and simple, just how interactive's should be.  This gives the visitor a great chance to just sit and take in the surrounds, enjoy and draw, just how you should feel when you enter the space.

Lastly, I will come back to the Young Curators work (picture top right) which was produces by a self selecting group of 13-19 year olds who worked with our artist Russell to produce plaster cast sculptures of their own using the principles of Henry Moore's own work.  They made lots of prototypes of making marks and attaching shells etc to create negative and positive space in clay for plaster to be poured in and see what the shape is that appears.  Their final pieces are shown in the exhibition, which used all their techniques they tried and then created a walled clay mould for the plaster to be poured in and then taken out when set, for these final pieces to appear.   I think they look great, but then I would be biased.  They look just at home with all of the work from Henry Moore too.

Hope you had fun learning a little more about something I do in the day job, perhaps next time I will take you on a journey of some of the workshops I do with people living with the early stages of dementia.


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