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Georgie’s Work Experience with Herbert Media!

11th March 2011. Georgie Clark. Harris School, A Church of England Sports College.

I’ve had such an interesting week with Herbert Media but unfortunately today is my last day! I completed various different tasks such as filing, photocopying, researching, printing, shredding! ect. Although, not once was I asked to make tea! As well as these small tasks, I also took part in many other activities such as sound recording, filming and podcasting.

Monday, my first day, was mostly an induction. Rich and I took a look around the galleries. I learned many things about the history of Coventry which I was not aware of before, for example, there is a lot more to learn about Lady Godiva than what I originally thought!  I particularly liked the Two Tone and Coventry City Football section of the exhibitions as I am a CCFC fan and also interested in old Two Tone bands like The Specials and Selecta! ;D

The ‘All Dressed Up’ exhibition was extremely eye-opening to me as I am studying fashion in my artwork at school, the exhibition consists of clothing from the 1890’s, 1920’s and 1950’s, so the pictures I have taken of the vintage clothing range will be a big help with my Historical Fashion Project. As well as this, Jo kindly donated an early 1980’s American Durian dress for me to borrow to wear in the ‘Eco’ round at the Miss Junior Coventry finals this weekend, thank you Jo! Wish me luck! 😀

The first half of Tuesday I was in the Video Editing Suite with Jim helping him with.. (believe it or not) editing a film! He showed me how to use the editing software on the computer and what needs to be done in the process of editing a long lecture and cutting it down to make a shorter, more to the point, informative film. I realised that film editing takes a great deal of time and has many factors to it which makes it quite tedious! During the second half of Tuesday I researched prices of film recording equipment and Technic Decks for Den. After, I sat in on a sound recording for a podcast, which will be on the Herbert website, with Daz, Rich and Sally. I think, the fact that The Herbert produces podcasts and sound files enabling blind people to hear and listen to the events that are happening in the near future is a great idea.

On Wednesday I had more of a hands on practical look at the goings on in the recording studio. I spent the whole day with Daz and the students taking the Star Course who aim to gain a better understanding of music production and sound engineering. This was great for me seen as I am hoping to be a sound engineer in my future career. Daz started off the day by recapping the students about last weeks work and then did a few recordings in the band room of each instrument individually. Throughout the day each student had a go at adjusting the sound of the instrument on Cubase, using techniques such as compressing and reduction with noise gates. The final result was a four-minute reggae style song.

Thursday was an interesting day! I took part in some filming with Simon, we went to the Drug Clinic – CDT (Community Drug Team). We were filming a short informative programme which lasts for about five minutes. It consists of information for drug users about how to be safer when using, for example; not sharing needles, washing hands, ect. In the afternoon I accompanied Rich and Daz in the recording studio where they held a talk with nine of the students from Herewood College, a school which specialises in education for students with disabilities, diverse and complex support requirements. The students are all aspiring sound engineers, producers and performers. We spoke about; genres of music, recording in the studio, musical careers, advice about talking to performers, the social skills used and aspects of music needed for an artist to ‘make it’ in the music industry. For me, it was inspirational to see just how passionate the students are about music. The course they are taking allows them to express themselves through creative ways in which they feel they have independence, yet still the support needed.

Although my weeks work experience placement was with Herbert Media, I also learned a great deal about The Museum and Art Gallery. In my opinion, I think that The Herbert uses a variety of different ways to successfully interest young students and make learning about the history of Coventry enjoyable through an easy, fun and creative way!

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to spend time at Herbert Media, It has given me a better understanding about what goes on in the media section of the world of work!



Who was the Pharaoh Akhenaten?

A view of the exhibition

Strange and exotic yet unnervingly familiar – Egyptian civilisation echoes through our consciousness through architecture, art, films, language, music, engineering… the list goes on and on.  So it is very exciting to see a rare Egyptian object up close.

The Herbert showed a carved relief of the Pharaoh Akhenaten from Tuesday 7 September to Tuesday 14 September.  The object is part of the collection held by the British Museum and is a bit of a teaser for an exhibition called Secret Egypt coming up at the Herbert next year.  My involvement was to organise a team of volunteers to help people make the most of their visit to the exhibit and gather information for next year’s exhibition.  Having it here has created quite a buzz – it was only here for a week which somehow seemed to add to the excitement.

There were two volunteers taking part every day and by the end of the second day they had welcomed one hundred visitors. One of the volunteers said: “I think it is wonderful.  The actual thing itself is only small but knowing how old it is makes it really special.  The film has been really brilliant.  It has really whetted people’s appetites.  I really like Egypt, I’m fascinated by anything to do with it.  I think it is the strangeness such as mummification, the things they believed, their intelligence and the things they built.  They had so many inventive things like make-up.  I must have watched everything on the telly to learn as much as I can.”

Another volunteer told me about her experience so far.  “It has been good fun but tiring.  The first two days have been really busy.  The visitors were well spaced out and we really enjoyed it.  You feel like you want to be an Egyptian yourself. They seemed so elegant.  A lady came who was very knowledgeable, with a friend who was a bit reluctant but by the end of the visit she had been won over.  One visitor really liked the way the panels were hung so that they looked like they were hovering in mid-air.  The atmospheric lighting gave it a tomb-like feel.”

We have had some really positive comments from visitors:

“I don’t go to London, I can’t afford it … so I came to the museum.”

“I would love to go to Egypt but I will never get the chance – today a little bit of Egypt has come to me.”

The exhibition ‘Who was Pharaoh Akhenaten?’ ended on Tuesday 14 September 2010.  The Secret Egypt exhibition takes place from February to June 2011.


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What’s it like to be a Keeper?

Hello, my name is Ali Wells and I am one of three Keepers of Collections at the Herbert. Together with the Senior Curator we curate the four collections held at the museum: archaeology, natural history, social & industrial history and visual arts.

Objects are at the core of all museums, and for me May meant working with many different types of objects.

I started the month by helping Dom with the take down of Fashion V Sport. Taking things down are always a lot easier than putting them up and the costumes mostly came off their mannequins with ease. The most difficult piece was a Prada outfit made from some kind of plasticated paper. We had to handle it so carefully as there was already wear around the zip and it had only been done up five or six times!

Part of the joy of having collections is being able to lend them out to other museums. For its summer exhibition on Rock ‘n’ Roll photographs, The Pump Rooms in Leamington wanted to display some objects from the 1950s and 60s. After looking through the collection, we will be lending them some Beatles and Rolling Stone magazine and this record player. Read the rest of this entry

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