Taking Over the Museum’s Fossil Collection

I’m Jack Saunders, aged 14, and I’m volunteering for three months as a documentation assistant at the Corinium Museum.

My work consists of cataloguing fossil specimens by first photographing and measuring a specimen and then entering some details about it onto a word document.

The reason my work as a volunteer is important is because volunteers can offer valuable time and specialism to the museum. Categorising fossils can make identifying species and organising storage much easier for staff.

I have volunteered at Corinium Museum as part of my Duke of Edinburgh Bronze Award. I chose this museum as I have a strong personal interest in the subjects presented as well as a desire to experience a work environment. I hope to pursue career opportunities similar to this work here in the future.

Rachael drawing Gods and Goddesses in the Corinium Museum galleries. Copyright Corinium Museum

Taking Over as a Creative Artist at the Corinium Museum

My name is Rachael Eley, I am 17 and currently taking my A levels at Cirencester College. These include, fine art, photography and history.

I am currently undertaking an EDGE placement at the Corinium museum in Cirencester where, for two hours a week, I volunteer to create drawings and artworks for the museums marketing and furnishing designs. I signed up to Corinium Volunteer Makers and accepted the Creative Artist challenge. My role involves accurately drawing and producing high quality pieces of art within a sketchbook inspired and from direct observation of the collections within the museum.

I have enjoyed completing a watercolour piece in my sketchbook created from wall plaster which displays vivid and beautiful colouration despite its age. I have been able to creatively explore areas of history which I did not know about until learning and studying them while here. Equally, as I am studying history I am naturally inquisitive towards what the past entails and this experience has granted me with easy access to create artwork from the roman era.

My role at the museum is important because the designs and drawings I create can be used for marketing purposes such as leaflets and brochures which create variety within the documentation of knowledge which is presented with the collections. Creating visual material and interpretations of the collections presents new ways of viewing the artefacts which could be more interesting to wider audiences. My takeover consists of offering a new approach to the visual elements within the museum as an artist I am constantly looking for line and texture within the artefacts that can be creatively exploited to benefit the museum.

I am constantly inspired by the commitment from the staff and volunteers at the museum which are always open to new ideas and suggestions from me and my peers. They offer a large volume of background knowledge towards the artefacts which helps with my understanding of what I am drawing from. I have been lucky to experience new things such as holding and drawing directly from a human skull which was a wonderful opportunity. The museum offers modern displays for the artefacts which makes the items engaging but I would like to see more artworks around the museum for the public to view.

Tilly finding inspiration for the children’s corner on the 2nd century Hunting Dogs mosaic. Copyright Corinium Museum

Taking Over as an Education and Design Officer at the Corinium Museum

I am Tilly Postlethwaite, I am 18 years of age and am taking my A levels at Cirencester College.

I am currently undertaking an EDGE placement at Cirencester Corinium Museum and signed up to this via Corinium Volunteer Makers. I volunteer at the museum for two hours per week. My role involves repairs of costume and production of furnishings for the museum, in addition to assisting at education sessions. I am one of seven work experience students involved at the museum. My current project is to make cushions. I am also working with my peers to produce a collaborative screen print, which can be duplicated on several cushions. I have a stable basis in art and design and therefore I have been keen to apply my creativity and skills.

These cushions will become part of the Kids’ corner at the museum which currently lacks relevance to the surrounding collections. I aim to draw upon the neighbouring collections to inspire my furnishings and give a new sense of life to this space. I also need to consider the audience, therefore these furnishings need to be fun and colourful, so that they are attractive to kids. But also durable!

My role is important to the museum because my creative ideas can be translated into furnishings to decorate the kids’ corner and in turn inspire and enlighten children. Also the repair of costumes is essential to maintain a high standard at the museum. I thoroughly enjoy assisting educational sessions. These have huge significance in engaging children in the heritage of Cirencester, and inspiring them through history. I also enjoy the social interaction with the public. Often people stop to ask me questions when I am drawing around the galleries.

My takeover consists of renewing a slightly neglected corner of the museum. Colourful cushions are a great way to start uplifting this space. I believe the collaboration of all artists signifies takeover because these cushions will remain in the museum for a long time to come.

I have really enjoyed being involved in taking over this role in the museum because it is essential that the next generation is involved in heritage. Furthermore I think the public admire seeing lots of young faces involved in museum projects. I hope our input is also fresh and helpful.

I admire the dedication of museum staff to create an inclusive place for people to explore history and heritage. Cirencester’s museum has been created highly successfully and feels calm. This is a perfect environment to learn. In addition museums offer interactive opportunities which are highly engaging.

At the Corinium Museum I would like to see a more personal touch. Cushions and soft furnishings would be a good way to implement this. I believe this would make the museum more welcoming and therefore engaging for the public.

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