David Anderson's Blog
Work on St Fagans redevelopment continues
At the end of last week, I spent a day with the St Fagans Interpretation Group looking at desgin plans for the proposed new galleries. It's exciting to see the project progressing, as we now start discussing what the galleries may look like and what exhibitions may be included. Currently, we are exploring having two galleries - one about the Story of Wales and one about ways of life. We also need to ensure that there is ample space for a temporary exhibitions area. There are so many interesting and important stories to be told, and we're aware that not all of them can be included as part of a permanent gallery. Therefore, it is crucial that we have a high quality space to host a whole array of exhibitions. Personally, I'd like to see at some point in the future another exhibition about childhood in Wales as well as the political history of Wales. The possibilities are endless, and we're happy to listen to any ideas you may have as well!
Over the weekend, I did take some time to myself and went to Glyndebourne to see a production of Handel's Rinaldo. The singing was superb and it was a fantastic production, up to to the high standard one would expect at Glyndbourne. It was, however, quite an alternative production. The Director had decided to update the production so that iwas based around boys vs girls schools in the mid twentieth century. Rinaldo the hero became an adolescent schoolboy, bullied by his peers and transported into a fantasy world, where he then became a hero. Though it was interesting, I must admit that I prefer Handel's version but nevertheless I enjoyed the humour of the production in Glyndebourne.
Plenty going on!
As you can imagine, it is a busy time at all of our sites now that it's the school holidays. It's great to see all of the museums full of people, and since entry is free, it's an affordable day out for all of the family. We've also been busy with events, such as our presence at the National Eisteddfod in Wrexham. Not only did the sun shine on most days, but there was also a wonderful atmosphere. Amgueddfa Cymru had a stand, and there was a lot of interest in the exhibition we had on display relating to the area. It was an opportunity for us to encourage visitors to visit the Wrexham museum, where we have a presence, as well as visit all of the national museums of Wales.Though the main focus of the week was on public consultation regarding the St Fagans redevelopment, we also had a successful launch of the latest issue of Glo magazine. The Minister, Huw Lewis, attended and helped us launch the issue and the response to the content has been fantastic. Having a presence at national events such as the eisteddfod is crucial to our work, as it allows people who don't live near any of our sites to experience the national collections and engage in our work.
On my way back from Wrexham, I visited the People's History Museum in Manchester. I was really impressed by the way it told political history from the perspective of people. The way the graphics were illustrated worked extremely well, and gave me some ideas for the redevelopment of St Fagans.
We were very privileged to be able to host artists from Chongqing in China at National Museum Cardiff as part of the Chongqing in Wales week. The official opening took place here as well, and it wonderful to meet some friends from China who'd helped deliver the Dazu rock carvings exhibition earlier in the year. Visitors were impressed by the demonstrations by the artists as well as the photographic exhibition. It is hoped that this will be an annual event, and we hope to be able to welcome other artists from Chongqing in the future.
David Anderson's Blog