Looking back and looking forward

This time last year I took my first steps in my new role as the Exhibitions Officer at the British Motor Museum, and almost immediately straight into preparation for the procurement of a suitable design team to work with on the latest temporary exhibition; The Car. The Future, Me. What a very rewarding experience this was for me! I have worked on a variety of different exhibitions throughout my career, each with their own differing challenges and this one did not disappoint.

Throughout the process the scheduled completion date in July, was always going to be a tight call but looking back, I think this really helped to focus and drive the exhibitions team to achieve what we did. The most exciting and challenging part was certainly procuring the designers. This is of course a normal part of any major exhibition, especially when you don't have in-house designers but also when you have such an exciting, topical subject to share. The creativity shown by the shortlisted designers was fantastic; all keen to show their own style but also keen to get under the skin of the subject. On settling our sights on Imagemakers I knew we had chosen well. Their innovate approach and imaginative ideas helped deliver beyond the whole team's expectations. As part of the exhibitions team I needed to ensure we selected not only the right designers who understood what we wanted to achieve but also those that could deliver on time and in budget. That’s no mean feat I can tell you!

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Since opening to the public reactions have been great. It is so rewarding to walk through the gallery and hear their comments and discussions. Of course work did not stop the day it opened, for me that meant; keeping the exhibition gallery maintained, and all the interactives operational (sometimes following quite heavy use from the public!) 

One or two snagging problems later, but quickly sorted by our wiz in-house tech and IT support, now nearly 9 months into the displays it still looks fresh and continues to operate as designed.

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Once the temporary exhibition was installed and running it was then my role to look at how to best upgrade and refresh the existing displays around the museum. Constant use does generate wear and tear over time, and over the later part of 2019 and the early part of this year we have been working towards refreshing public spaces, looking at new initiatives and new ways to interpret the collections to our visitors including the ever popular interactives.

 One such idea was the development of an interactive 'Sports Car' for our younger visitors. Once again, with collaboration from a experienced exhibitions design company we set about focusing on the interactive requirements and what operational functions the car might provide. (See photograph) For a small project this was a lot of fun and I do hope that our younger audiences will enjoy playing with it as much as we have!

We have further ideas in the pipeline for more new gallery interactives, new temporary exhibitions and a bright and busy future for the museum, so rest assured, when the Museum is re-opened we will all be waiting to show you the fruits of our hard work during this unprecedented time.