My name is Kelly and as part of the recent round of Workforce Development (WFD) placements, I left my usual role in the Retail Department (I tend to the piles of paperwork generated by the activities of our gift shops) and was introduced to the world of Collections and Interpretation.
Under the wing of Laura Waters, the former curator of the Decorative Art collections, fellow WFD participant Robert White and I put together a temporary layer of additional interpretation for Brighton Museum’s collections. We were acting in coordination with a number of colour themed projects across the city, such as Into the Blue at Hove Museum and The Blue Route at Fabrica Gallery.
After a little head scratching, we researched and put together an alternative history of ten different objects, linking the colour theme to the rainbow flag of the gay rights movement and creating a multimedia LGBT trail in association with Brighton Pride. We were thoroughly uninspired by the idea of talking about the few available blue objects and decided to think outside of the box a bit (to add a little context both Rob and I are gay and there was no existing LGBT material, which just seemed mad).
There is now an Object Stories/LGBT trail guide at Brighton Museum front desk with a map and key information on the objects. Each numbered point in the trail has a label with a QR code that should take you to a Youtube video of Rob and I covering fascinating historical anecdotes that couldn’t be squeezed into the leaflet. You can also view all of the videos by scanning the QR code in the leaflet, or following the trail on the BrightonMuseums smartphone app, which can be downloaded for free from Google Play for Android devices or the Apple App Store for iPhones. (You can find the tour under the ‘Brighton Museum’ section of the app.)
We all had a lot of fun putting these stories together, so it seems only right that we share the fun with everyone else in the form of a Pride themed BMAG Late.
I have official orders from the coordinator, Ellie Newland, to shamelessly and incessantly promote this event. So whether you are gay, lesbian, trans, TV, queer, or just a fabulous person, come and celebrate life’s wonderful variety (dressing as your favorite gay icon is not essential, but would be amazing).
There will, of course, be Late staples like Make ‘n’ Take – a gay/pop icons screen printing workshop I am informed, a bar (courtesy of Brighton Dome), the obligatory dressing up box, and the always amazing Dynamite Sal working the turntables with her tongue-in-cheek playlist.
Anyone who enjoyed Love Late’s dating nightmare confessions will be pleased to know that we are reprising that idea with a coming out confessional.
As well as this I can confirm that we will have a photo booth so that you can get a snap of you and your friends looking like superstar maniacs; a Rainbow Animation Station that gives you a chance to express what the colours of the Pride rainbow mean to you (be aware that your expressions will be screened publicly at the end of the night); dust off your gaydar because we’ve got mixed gender/orientation ‘Speed Flirting’ that could find you true love or a new BBF.
Not enough for you?
Ok then how about Gay Icon Guess Who (yes, as in awesome BM board game from your very own childhood) and a drag queen makeover station!
Yet to be confirmed is the identity of our live musical act, an LGBT Object Stories walking tour (Rob and I reprising our roles from the Youtube videos so you can appreciate our beauty in 3D), and free moustaches!
Kelly Boddington, Assistant Buyer