Families Made Festive Exhibitions of Themselves

If we cast our minds back to the sparkly events of last month, Geoff our guest blogger, tells us how the festive spirit was alive and well at Tullie House.  Great job everyone! Over to you Geoff…


Christmas has come and gone and some of us may well breathe a huge sigh of relief. To me, it all seems a long time ago however Making a ‘Festive Exhibition of Yourself only came down last Monday.

As my earlier post elaborated, the idea of the exhibition was to encourage families to share their Christmas stories with each other based upon putting together a small display of their own Christmas objects. This was done primarily through three workshops. Unfortunately, I wasn’t around to see any of these delivered myself, however, on returning to work last week, I was really happy to see that the families had gone to town with their displays.
Several ingenious methods for displaying objects were developed by the families after a crash course in exhibition design from our trusty staff of Cathy and Sally for our toddlers and Eloise, Laura and Andrea for the school holiday workshops.
First to kick off was our toddler session. The toddlers families, the Richardsons, Branchs and Edgars, brought along a small selection of objects based upon memories of their youngsters growing up. Christmas stockings, Christmas decorations and photographs were produced, some of which were from the toddler’s first Christmases. Short simple, but effective labels were paired with each of these beautiful objects.
The Barratt family
Next up was the first of our two school holiday workshops, booked by the Barrett family. Mr. Barrett had a plan up his sleeve. He booked the workshop as an early Christmas present for his family, who were naturally rather suprised when they arrived for their session. After a short period of coming to terms with what was being asked of them, the Barretts dreamed up an amazing display using the objects Mr. Barrett had secretly assembled beforehand. These included a range of board games, advent calendars, decorations and a tree branch. Their theme was based upon their journey through a typical Christmas Day in their household. Careful thought was given to what and when events took place during the day and created their display accordingly, producing time based labels to elaborate on the story they were attempting to convey.
The final workshop, just after Christmas, was enjoyed by the Waite family. They, similarly to the toddler families, decided to base their display case upon memories from their children over the years. As with the toddlers, objects included family photographs, stockings but additionally jewellery, a Santa hat and some craft accompaniments to complete the ‘Waite’s Crafty Christmas’. Once again, some beautifully simple and elegant stories were told on the object labels.
The Waite family
To polish off the exhibition, I can’t forget the contribution of the families who didn’t attend a workshop, but did visit the exhibition to create some beautiful works of art on our display wall. This asked families to produce art based upon what Christmas meant to them. A creative and diverse range of work was produced and filled the wall by the time the exhibition drew to a close.
So it only leaves me to offer a sincere and well deserved thank you to all the families that contributed to the exhibition. I sincerely hope you all had a fantastic Christmas and New Year.
Geoffrey McCarthy
Family Learning Officer
Tullie House Museum & Art Gallery

Posted on January 15, 2015, in THe Shed and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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