Our Curate the Commons project is moving on apace. Over the past month our participating Flickr users have been “favouriting” and tagging their chosen images. With varied backgrounds and interests everyone has approached this selection process from a different point of view. The next (and potentially trickier) stage will be to narrow down the selection of what goes on display in the Compass Lounge as a group.
Here Nerisha explains her top five picks and why she chose them, we’ve linked all the image titles back to our Flickr photostream:
Two crab-eater seals on the ice, Weddell Sea
Reproduction ID: P00017
Maker: James Francis Hurley
Date: circa February 1915
Materials: Gelatine dry plate
The contrast of colour between the seals and ice provide something very interesting for the eye. The ice seems to go on forever in the background and gives you a real sense of the environment.
Camel in Kuwait carrying fuel for cooking
Reproduction ID: PM5322-6
Maker: Alan Villiers
This photo is simply striking, unusual and makes me wonder how far are the man and his camel travelling? How much food will that amount of fuel cook?
A sailor and his accordion on-board the ‘Parma’
Reproduction ID: N61653
Maker: Alan Villiers
This photograph is interesting as it offers a glimpse of daily life and activities. I like the composition as there is a view of the sea, the boat and at centre the sailor plays his accordion.
Restful days on-board the ‘Parma’
Reproduction ID: N61612
Maker: Alan Villiers
Sailors’ life, basking in the sun. This photograph is beautifully composed, the basking men draw your eye in and you notice the men at the centre of the photograph.
Commercial Dock Pier
Reproduction ID: P27581
Maker: Waldo McGillycuddy Eagar CBE
Date: circa 1914
I love the photographer’s perspective, a peek into what happens down at the docks. I love the way the photo is ‘framed’ by the chains.
Our project participants have an external blog of their own charting this collaborative process at curatethecollection.wordpress.com
The Museum is embarking on its second co-curated exhibition since the July 2011 opening of the new Sammy Ofer Wing and the Compass Lounge – a dedicated space for participatory displays developed by the Museum and the public together. The Compass Lounge is a place to make new connections with our collections, and to offer alternative and multiple perspectives to the Museum’s interpretation of what’s on display.
We’ve invited members of the Museum’s active Flickr community to curate a display of historical photographs from our collection, to give our audiences a chance to highlight objects and images that are significant to them. Over the next few weeks those taking part in the project will add their views and thoughts to the Museum’s Collections Blog. Here’s Duncan on his first impressions:
On 14 April 2012 the assorted members of the Curate the Collection group met for the first time at the National Maritime Museum. For me personally, it was the first time I have visited Greenwich or the National Maritime Museum. I had no real expectations for the meeting apart from a desire to see how exhibitions are constructed in a museum space using both interactive content and user opinion/feedback. Armed with my historical hat on I approached the meeting with increasing excitement. I spent the morning exploring Royal Greenwich and after being surrounded by Maritime buildings, pubs and boats (Cutty Sark) I was ready to begin debating. I was very encouraged by the diversity of personalities, ages and opinions amongst the group – all brought together by a mutual appreciation of Flickr and its communal spirit.
“Curate the Collection” Flickr group looking serious and listening intently to the project outline! By benicektoo on Flickr.
The breadth of individual interests certainly complicated our attempts to ascertain a common theme for our project. This was further complicated by the wealth of available archive material that we could have access to. Our resources include the Flickr Commons, the National Maritime Museum digitalised collection and a planned visit to the photographic archive at the Brass Foundry. As a group we were also introduced to ‘The Compass Lounge’ exhibition space and caught a tangible glimpse of our future interactive exhibition space. Marrying both digital and print photography in an interactive space may pose some interesting challenges for the group but I was again encouraged by the plethora of imaginative ideas.
I was also surprised to learn that only about 1% of the NMM’s photographic collection has been digitalised. If anything this project will hopefully be a reason to digitalise individual images that would not usually see the light of day outside of the NMM collection.
Next stop the Brass Foundry!
Our project team have an external blog of their own charting this collaborative process at curatethecollection.wordpress.com
Flickr Commons Project at the National Maritime Museum
14 April and 12 – 13 May 2012
Love Flickr? We’re looking for active Flickr members to take part in an exciting co-curation project to choose photos from the Museum’s collection that you’d like to see on display. We’re keen to understand what interests and motivates you as Flickr members, and how it can inform the way we interpret our photographic collections. You’ll get a behind the scenes look at the Museum and find out how displays are put together, from selecting a theme to writing gallery text and more. The photos selected will be uploaded onto Flickr Commons and will also be exhibited in the Compass Lounge; the Museum’s new interactive gallery space in the Sammy Ofer Wing. The display will run for a period of six months until February 2013.
The workshops are part of a PhD research project that is funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and the National Maritime Museum. The workshops will take place on 14 April and 12 – 13 May from 10am – 4pm at the Museum in Greenwich, London. If you would like to be involved please email Bronwen Colquhoun at email@example.com to express an interest in taking part, as places are limited. We will get back to you with more definite dates and times once they have been confirmed.
Please note that participants must be able attend all of the stated sessions and there are no fees or expenses available, but lunch will be provided free of charge.
We look forward to hearing from you!