Big TreeTopping Out
Most museum work is planning, but every so often I get to do the business – actually mount an exhibition. “In the Big Treetop” is an installation for children and adults to explore together; it doesn’t have valued objects like most exhibitions, but instead has large structures which have to be strong enough to survive six weeks of lively play.
Because this is an annual fixture, the process begins with the evaluation of last year’s exhibit. The planning started seriously in December and our technician began constructing the design in May. Then two weeks of building and painting in the gallery and finally the public arrive.
What happens then is the “Death of the Author” moment – all our ideas are rendered unnecessary as the public reinterprets the space and invests it with their own meanings.
For the first time this year we have chosen not to have an area for displaying visitors’ work, which has been a coincidental mechanism for communication between visitors – so the interpretations might be different every day. It will be an interesting chance to explore how this might impact on the sense of community that can exist amongst our regular audience.
Enough of this seriousness . . . we have a magical gallery full of very happy children and parents and that is all that matters!
View more photos of In the Big Treetop on our Flickr page: http://www.flickr.com/photos/theherbert/sets/72157624411047559/