Notes from meetings


Notes from meeting

Initial meeting really just to meet each other for the first time and discuss Husk of Hares in very general terms.

Initial feeling is that the diverse approaches will work well and we can make a cohesive structure from our different practices. Everyone is agreed on the central premise that this project should be about accessibility and breaking down barriers between formal and informal art structures.  I am very keen that the artists should be able to take the subject of the hare and develop their work in whatever way they feel is most appropriate to them. This first meeting probably felt a bit loose and vague but I can already see links forming between the different approaches and each artist will be able to make an equal and balanced contribution to the whole project – like a three-sided stool!

Things agreed so far:

  1. Sue Welfare would like to conduct her workshops with older age groups and has contacts with a residential home in Wisbech (St Johns Court).  The mayor of Wisbech is also a contact and may be able to provide other introductions. It was also suggested that WI groups, the NFU, and even pest control services might be worth contacting.
  2. Roger Coleman would like to work with all age groups but, for practical reasons, it will probably be young people. He plans to conduct the field workhops in March 2013 – in March (lots of nice puns and double meanings we can use for publicity purposes!). I have suggested we set up a meeting with Roger, Caroline, and Zoe in the next three weeks to discuss contacts and marketing strategies.
  3. John Wiltshire has already begun to do some research. One proposal is to construct a ‘Straw Hare’, in consultation with the Whittlesea Straw Bear people. This may develop into a performance piece at the Babylon Gallery, involving some Molly Dancers (outside!)
  4. Christine will fix up a meeting to view the Wisbech and March venues in early December. All members of the team are welcome to come.
  5. 5.       All three artists to submit a proposal outline of what they intend to do by the beginning of January 2013


Notes from site visits

Morning: Wisbech Museum

Roger Coleman, Christine Pike

Conventional gallery space with wall panels. Three plug sockets and set up for adio/visual.
We can suspend things from the ceiling struts.
Might be possible to take photographs of, or have copy made of the “Hunt Cup” – Romano-British clay vase depicting hare and hounds. Also some Romano-British coins with hares on. Have asked David and Robert to see if they might have anything else hare related in the archives.
Doorway and steps up to exhibition space – small, so will need a visual focal point to draw people in. The door can be ‘dressed’ to tie it to the exhibition and differentiate from rest of the museum.

We can make use of one tall vitrine, two smaller display cases capable of holding a single object each  up to about 24” high, and one bureau-type display case.
I asked David what his objectives are and they fit very well with the gallery’s aims – vis:

  1. Networking and getting onformation about the collection out in the public domain
  2. Making more of the museum and engaging with local people – at present it is felt to be a neglected resource
  3. Demonstrate that the museum is very much alive and relevant.

David was part of curatorial team at the V & A before taking on Wisbech. Very open to collaboration with other organizations and to working with people who want to engage with the collections in different ways.
David mentioned a game called “Hare and Tortoise” – he has a copy and is a friend of the game’s inventor. Will pursue for more information.

Afternoon: March Museum

Roger Coleman, Christine Pike, Sue Welfare, John Wiltshire

March museum only open two days/week. Potentially more problematic as a space since none of the cabinets can be moved and most of the exhibits are static. However, we can use ‘Cupbard 17’, a large vitrine. There are also two display boards made up of 4 A2-sized boards and two wooden table top A frames. Two large tables in centre of room.
Set up for audio/visual. Collection of vintage radios on wall and Sue suggested we could play sound so that it appears to be coming from one of these. Also set up for screening a projection onto upper wall, if desired.
Also table vitrine in ‘West Room’ available.
“The March Hares” – wartime ladies’ dance troupe. Member, Joan Collingwood still alive – Sue would like to interview her. (Robert Munns to make initial contact).
Think they might have some gin traps and snares in archive but these are the only hare-related artefacts.
Possibly some recipe books? To check with volunteer.
John Wiltshire suggested that small ‘interventions’ in the existing museum displays be made.
Roger Coleman to possibly make a set of postcards.
Sue Welfare feels that, since most of the collections are connected with WWII, some form of recollection/documentation/audio work would be appropriate.

John’s work would make a very appropriate ‘cabinet of curiosities’ – an idea that could be carried through to Wisbech and the Babylon . Add to it as tour progresses? The end result would be a museum-type installation in the gallery which would be a curation of the tour and a response to making contemporary work for museums.

“Hunt the Hare” – another possible idea; clues could be placed in some of the existing displays which would lead to the main exhibits in the end gallery. This could also be carried through to Wisbech.

Willendorf Venus – as hare? Symbol of fertility. John’s ‘Straw Hare’? Creating new myths/ folktales – see if Sue and John might like to work together on this?

Update: 05/12/12 David Wright, curator at Wisbech Museum, has e-mailed to say that he thinks they will be able to find some more hare-related material from diaries in their archive.


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