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Great networking and sharing opportunity had at 'Why Work With Artists - Why Work With Museums?' session

Held on Monday 17th February, the day saw staff and artists from Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery talk through their experiences of creative collaboration, from the commissioning process, through to artist agreements and the artist's creative journey.

Jo Wiltcher (Museum Manager) gave a brief history of commissioning at Tunbridge Wells Museum & Art Gallery, and shared stories of projects that have worked well and not so well, and discussed the balance between caring for collections and sharing them in new and exiting ways.  This was followed by a talk on 'The Magic Lantern' display by artist Nicole Mollett.

View Nicole Mollet's video to accompany her creative interpretation of Tunbridge Wells' collection of magic lantern slides here:

Drawing from their experience on projects such as Public Art House and Hoodwink, Polly Harknett and Suzie Plumb (Hookwink Managers) shared their tips for a successful collaboration, from writing a good brief to managing the installation.  

For further reading, fact finding, example project plan template and a sample artist agreement, plus more, visit the resources pages here.  Why not take a look at the cartoons that delegate and Trustee of the Agricultural Museum in Brook, Ian Coulson created, inspired by discussion at Monday's session?

Top tips include: 

  • Julie: A mood board is useful for both curator & artist to keep focused on objectives
  • Liz: As curators we are overprotective parents - sometimes it's hard to relinquish collection control, but this is essential!
  • Jo: Trust the artist's creativity - don't compromise their vision as it will dilute the overall impact.

Getting in touch with artists:

Here are a few useful places to get started: