2018 is the centenary of the first women gaining the vote for the UK Parliament. I’ve been helping research and write this interactive exhibition at the Houses of Parliament for designers Metaphor, using the collections of the Parliamentary Archives. The stories range from the banned women watching the Commons through a ventilator in the attic, to the assaults of the suffragettes and the struggle for equal treatment – and a decent sized room – once in Parliament. And the stuff is great – that’s the banner the suffragettes unfurled from the Commons Gallery, a waitress on the terrace, and a police note about Emily Davison breaking windows – she was a serial offender! The stairs wind up the Victoria Tower, built for the Archives. The exhibition opens in June in Westminster Hall.
Poole Museum has some great buildings and collections and it’s been really interesting visiting, listening and writing a feasibility study for their future, along with colleagues Stephen Greenberg and Kara Dickinson from Metaphor Design. Scaplen’s Court and the Town Cellars are grade 1 listed, and you can see the harbour from the top floor of the warehouse building. The pottery is great, of course, but the wreck remains are the big stars. This can be one of the south’s best museums.
top left to bottom right: Poole Museum warehouse building and atrium; View to harbour across Town Cellars; Scaplen’s Court: Anthony Caro’s `Sea Music’; C18 Swash wreck rudder; 1950s Poole dish; the Sea Planes at Poole.
It’s great to be back with the Tunbridge Wells Museum and Art Gallery team. Plans for the new hub of museum, library, adult ed, tourism and community services are coming together quickly and I’m working with museum designers Metaphor. Tunbridge Wells’ excellent collections are going to populate the whole building, and I’m researching and writing lots of content on those collections for the project. Metaphor are turning the often surprising stories of Tunbridge Wells into a fresh and exciting way of enjoying all that stuff.