So, recently, the Secondary and Post-16 team here at the Museum took a team-building, museum-visiting, discussion-fuelled 3-day trip to Dublin. At the beginning of June me, Louise, Alexa, Jon and Kate hopped across the sea to the lovely Irish capital. The trip was really enjoyable and allowed us to spend some time together as a team (so rarely it is that we are all in the office together!). It also allowed us to explore other Museum and Gallery spaces and appreciate the many differences between style, display and interpretation that is out there while inspiring us about using spaces innovatively.
We spent our time investigating various Museums and Galleries including:
The Archaeology Museum and the Natural History Museum, both are spectacular and we were drawn into them for all sorts of different reasons. The Archaeology Museum has a fantastic variety of artefacts which demonstrate Irish history and a great Egyptology display. There were lots to see and I could have spent all day there!
The Natural History Museum was overwhelming! The galleries are packed with taxidermy specimens, which Kate and I found a little off-putting at first, but gradually we got used to the space and thoroughly enjoyed the visit.
I think this was my favourite, not necessarily because of the art (which was fantastic!) but because of their ‘Creative Work in Progress’ space where we all sat down to create our own little work of art. It was peaceful, contemplative and relaxing, even if it may have been intended for a younger audience! I think we all benefited from the experience and the architecture of the building alone was amazing.
A gallery within the Trinity College grounds, it was a fabulous space recommended to us by Lisa. While it was possibly a bit sparsely exhibited for my liking, the images and sketches by Stephen Shore and Agnes Martin promoted some discussion between us and were certainly thought-provoking.
Set in the beautiful historic grounds of The Royal Hospital Kilmainham, here we were lucky enough to meet up with Lisa Moran, Curator of Education and Community Programmes. She introduced us to their fascinating collaborative projects with their artists in residence and chatted with us about how the Museum encourages audiences to engage with art and become involved, rather than just observe. It’s fair to say that we were all inspired by the work that they do.
Okay, we couldn’t visit Dublin without seeing the Guinness Factory, but it was definitely a work-inspired venture. The very fact that they have created a Museum and encourage visitor interaction with a well-known PRODUCT is fascinating to me, and the emphasis they place on visitor experience is considerable. The history of the site and the production process of the beer is really well presented and explored, not to mention that the views of Dublin from the Gravity Bar are spectacular.
An art gallery inspired by science – this place is ingenious! But, I promised Alexa could write about it because she was absolutely enthralled – so watch this space!