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October 2007

'Jeffrey', our recreated medieval Archer

Posted by Pip Diment on 24 October 2007
Empty gallery

'Jeffrey', wrapped up

Lots more things installed now. It's seems tidier and it's possible to see much better how the exhibition is going to look. We have some of the audio visual aspects being tested and lights are sparkling in the empty cases. You can see the Bryn Celli Ddu stone already in place and covered in bubble wrap to protect it from all the work going on around it. Our recreated medieval Archer, who we affectionately call 'Jeffrey', was first created for our Re:Creations exhibition in 2002. The level of detail on his hands where he holds the string to his bow is amazing - it looks real. He is currently covered in bubble wrap to protect him from all the activity around him. He does look a bit like a mummy - but that's a whole different exhibition!

There are a lot more stones you can see in place covered to protect them and their plinths are nearly complete.

We're waiting for more mounts and the insides of cases to allow us to start installing our objects. As soon as they arrive the gallery will become a hive of activity with curators and conservators checking and installing large and small, delicate and robust, beautiful and functional objects that together will tell some of the story of the early people of Wales.

All the leaves are brown...

Posted by Gareth Bonello on 17 October 2007
2007 will be known for the upside down year, when we had a torrential summer and a golden autumn. I pity the poor fungal foragers who are searching in vain for that elusive mushroom.

I had an interesting comment last time from pbhj, on the 'intriguing' BSL exhibition I mentioned. He asks 'Apart from being minority languages what are the comparison points (between BSL and Welsh)?' Well pbhj, the idea of the exhibition came from the BSL community, and they drew comparisons bewteen the way Welsh has been treated and the way BSL has been treated. For example, Welsh schoolchildren in the 19th century had to wear a Welsh Not and were punished for speaking Welsh. Similarly, BSL speakers were told to sit on their hands so that they couldn't sign. Another comparison was that there is only one BSL school in Wales, so BSL pupils elsewhere have their education through their second language, similar to many Welsh pupils until comparatively recently.

On a lighter note, they wished to draw comparisons between deaf comedians telling jokes about hearing people to Welsh comedians telling jokes about English people, or jokes that only work bilingually. Other aspects came up, and not all to do with the similarities between Welsh and BSL, but that gives a flavour of it.

I don't understand the second part of your comment - are you accusing someone? Firstly, I don't think you can 'over-promote' something, and secondly, Welsh translation is aimed primarily at providing non-Welsh speakers with an understanding of the language. Why is this damaging? And why is it to the detriment of other services? Yes there are BSL/Welsh translators - not many, but they do exist.

Sabrina Rochemont also commented, and asked 'Are there particular areas of interest that you would like our feedback on?' Well, I would like to hear people's opinions on what is 'Contemporary Collecting'. What objects should we target for future preservation, and why. In this world of mass produced things, should we be collecting televisions, computers, mobile phones? If every museum decided to do this, we'd explode at the seams! Another aspect is the community one - asking communities to curate what's important to them, and recording their experiences etc.

Right, to finish, a quick run-through of what I've been up to in the last month - we've had the preliminary meetings to discuss strategies for the 2009 Pop Exhibition; I attended a meeting in Welshpool where we discussed forming a Contemporary Collecting policy for all museums throughout Wales so that we work together; I attended a second Digital Story workshop which we intend to base our community workshops on; I collected the objects from Johnstown for the second community dresser (information about the first is in 'Rhagor' on this website); I visited a couple of museums in Swansea; and I started my MA Museum Studies course.

Whew! By the time I write next month, I will have been to Sweden for their SAMDOK conference, which is the leading contemporary collecting conference in the world. See ya then.

Oriel 1

Posted by Chris Owen on 4 October 2007

Cyfarchion o Oriel 1!

Yr wythnos hon fe ges i gyfle i arbrofi gyda sesiwn i blant ysgolion cynradd r'yn ni wedi ei galw'n 'gemau dyfalu'. Dwi ddim yn siwr os yw hyn yn beth da neu'n beth drwg ond roedd yr Oriel fel syrcas am yr awr a finne ar fy nglinie am weddill y diwrnod! Bydd rhaid cael stamina gwell na hyn o rywle! Roedd ymateb y plant yn ddiddorol a'u gallu i gyffroi dros gynnwys yr Oriel yn wych!

Mae llawer o ymwelwyr wedi dangos brwdrydedd dros gynnwys yr Oriel newydd a gyda'r sylwadau cliriaf i aros yn fy nghof yw gwraig ganol oed yn dweud wrtha i, "This really is wonderful, but mind you, the old gallery was like a museum". Dwi ddim yn siwr os mai mynegi siom oedd hi neu beidio, efallai nad oedd hi'n gwybod yn iawn. Fodd bynnag mae'n sicr yn yr achos hwn, nad oedd cynnwys yr Oriel yn cydymffurfio i'r hyn yr oedd yr ymwelydd yn disgwyl ei weld yn yr amgueddfa. Gellir dadlau mai dyma enghraifft glir o'r Oriel yn deffro'r ymwelydd i'w amgylchedd gan ei atgoffa mai nid ymweld a'r amgueddfa er mwyn cael golwg ar y gorffennol a wna.

Dyma un sylwad a nodwyd ar gerdyn sylwadau am arddangosfa gyntaf yr Oriel, 'Perthyn', 'Hmmm, not sure what this is all about - Belonging - where?' A dddylai cynnwys yr Oriel gynnig atebion? Dyma sylwad arall sy'n treiddio i'r cwestiynau sylfaenol ynglyn a beth yw oriel ac amgueddfa.

Dewch draw i rhoi eich barn, neu rhowch sylwad yma os ydych chi wedi ymweld! Rwy ar ruthur braidd yn anffodus...ond wedi cael blas ar y blogio 'ma tro 'ma...felly mi fydda i nol ma arna i ofn!

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