Today we welcomed Dr Diana Walters to the camp to share with the participants (and us) her knowledge and skills on interpretation.
The morning was filled with discussions of how we look at heritage “heritage is all around us… it’s our job to make people understand”.
The first practical task was to work in pairs, standing back to back, one person described an image on the screen and the other person had to use that description and draw what they though it was. This was a great demonstration on how we communicate and interpret information we receive verbally and how to use language to describe even everyday shapes that maybe obvious when we can see it. Not as easy as we imagine.
After more discussions Diana set an interpretation task for the participants. The task- In groups, create a interpretation panel for a set target group (tourists, under fives, elderly, teenagers), they choose museum objects as the basis of the panel and were task to “reveal meanings and relationships” .They were asked in go out into the street and interview people to help with this task, and the results were fabulous.
The teams presented their panels to the rest of the groups at the end of the day. One of my favorites was group four who choose to interpret the tradition clothing collection. They did a fantastic job at interviewing elderly people and getting them to share stories on when they wore the traditional clothing in their lives. It was an illustration how you can connect people and collections buy using personal experiences and by making in relevant to the potential museum visitor.
Overall it was a great learning experience for all participants and conservators alike.