Protest S.H.E.D Programme
Installation Protest S.H.E.D
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AbstractThis Artistic Residency in August 2021 summer, the National Justice Museum deigned by Dr Jones with collaboration from Barend Slabbert, and Interior Design Course Level 2 Students. Dr Jones curated a series of events, film screenings, talks and activities as part of S.H.E.D - the Social Higher Education Depot, with producer Ollie Smith. A S.H.E.D flatpack, pop up and mobile arts venue opened in our outdoor courtyard, creating a unique public space for activities stimulating discussion around young people and protest. The conversations also informed the development of an exhibition, due to open in January 2022. Dr Jones created a bespoke site specific installation for the Museum turning the courtyard that is Usually is a car park space, into a hub of creative, social and educational activity for a period of two weeks. We had participation from children as young as 5 right through to those in the late 70s. The research questions we addressed through this work explored how can museums, such as the national justice museum, look to create an alternative space for conversations with people about justice, the law and protest. We recognise that these conversations are urgent and necessary; for the future care of our planet and for society. To do this, Dr Jones created a site specific responsive space and programme with producer Ollie Smith, to interrogate the issues of social justice, young people’s opportunities and the impact on arts culture and heritage and to do that in radically different context for the museum and all activities we designed and delivered were free to attend. The outcome of the research highlights how it is often underestimated how important culture and social spaces are and the importance of co-operation, of cultural heritage and living heritage. We have witnessed first hand how inviting people to this space has empowered individuals, and brought people together, visiting the museum or passing by the museum. We had a blend of museum and non museum attendees – and shifted the parameters for engagement and of the physical blueprint of the architectural space. It was evidence that our approach increased individuals wellbeing which is an important pathway to learning, of providing the time and space to invite other to feeling that they have an important part to play in museum culture, that it somehow connects and belongs to them, that they have agency, and that their voice matters – sometimes even before the individual might know themselves just how important they are or how to use it. This is all underpinned by Manzini who talks about using expert design process to trigger and support meaningful social change. Which we can see taking place through this project and through the creation of a unique codesigned structure and artist led practice. The residency provided an opportunity to really challenge the potential of codesigned practices – and how we think about cocreation and placemaking. Over 17 days, and 2547 people of which, 1 in 4 were new audience goer to the museum and 2 out of of 4 were engaging with shed for the first time as extended activities and enriching way for them to experience the museum environment and wanted more and over 6,000 people actively engaged with our social media activity and with 13.5thousand impressions. The research methodology created a community of practice which is centred on a set of conditions that in turn defines that community as being a sustainable, innovative, creating a co-designed process from which new solutions for museum engagement of how to turn museums inside out can be done and where new audiences and knowledge is created. Shed became an incubation museum space, a hub of activity and action by shifting and relocating the context for learning and engagement. We extended the learning environment into the city, this action that has taken place has opened up dialogues, created new museum artefacts, and through this - documentation has started to build the foundations for an exhibition at the museum in 2022 as part of the legacy building work and inform the museums thinking about the potential of courtyard as a space transform and externalise the museum content bringing history outside of the building, engage with new audiences, ask questions such as whose history gets told and how does a museum connect with its contemporary audiences and public who live and work alongside the museum. The impact that asking these questions is having on future programming and public engagement is evident and by placing the museum in to the public domain through the use of a reconfigurable shed as a methodology has extend the possibilities of how different lived experiences can redefine how we think about the role , place, and opened up discourse about the future ways of working and learning for the museum .Together, we have generated a really exciting body of work, exploring protest and justice and climate change – the new knowledges and artworks gathered from the public, are informing the next design of shed and the activity that will take place in it, when we return in spring 2022 and informing part of our work into how we redesign and reconsider the outcomes and processes of social innovation and civic practice.
CitationJones, R. (2021). 'Protest S.H.E.D' [Installation]. National Justice Museum, Nottingham (Artist Residency: 1 - 17 August 2021).
PublisherNational Justice Museum
Meetings and Proceedings
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