Internship Reflections – Siqi Yang

Last but not least the final blog from Siqi Yang on her time at GoMA for the Museums Studies course at Leicester University. Thank you again to Siqi, Bo and Ale for all their hard work, energy and willingness to go with the hectic flow.

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It was very enjoyable to have the opportunity to work with curator Katie at GoMA from 9 July to 31 August 2018. The work I participated in mainly included the public programme, “queer timɘs school” project with the artist Jason E Bowman, Monster Chetwynd’s film, “Face Cream” and understanding the daily workflow of curators. During this eight-week internship, I gained a lot of experience and improved some skills, such as researching and learning, planning and organising, problem-solving and decision-making.

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The artist Jason E Bowman’s queer timɘs school project was presented in the form of performance through a temporary school, which informed GoMA’s exhibition programme for Gallery 3 (1 December 2018 – 10 March 2019) and other LGBTQ work in Glasgow Museums. Participants in the event were mainly LGBTPQI citizens and their allies over the age of 16. A range of professionals who worked with or were related to the theme LGBTPQI+A were invited to give speeches and communications in different places in Glasgow, involving The Burgh Court Hall, Kelvin Hall, Glasgow Women’s Library, Scotland Street School Museum and The Mitchell Library. This was a series of very interesting and valuable assemblies as providing participants with a respectful platform to share and exchange LGBTPQI+A history over the past 50 years, connecting especially with education, employment, law and health. Actually, the value and significance of this project can also be proved by comments from participants because of three possible achievements being indicated in their feedback:

  • Participants were inspired to demonstrate in-depth thinking and interest in exploring this topic from law, policies and education perspectives, such as considering LGBTPQI+A heritage in Scotland, the gap between the partial decriminalization of homosexuality in England and Wales(1967) and Scotland (1980) and the period of Clause 28 (1988 – 2000) until now.
  • How challenging and important it is to develop the equity of LGBTPQI+A people. In spite of these difficulties, the less know stories from history work could be promoted because the needs, the desired and rights of LGBTPQIA people were further communicated through this project.

    The stories and contributions to knowledge, representation, community, education and learning of LGBTPQI+A people will also be shown to the public (GoMA’s exhibition, 1st December 2018 – 10th March 2019) and it can engage society again.

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The main tasks I participated in during this event were personnel registration, guidance and documentation. The part of documentation was very exciting for me because I was allowed to use painting to record the scenes of these assemblies. Although there were already a professional photographer and photographic equipment to record by means of photos and videos, the way of painting strengthened richness and interest of recording. During the event, participants showed great interest to this form of recording and asked for drawing progress during breaks. Diverse record forms might help to increase the vividness of this kind of performance and participants’ passions.

In terms of the film, “Face Cream” created by Monster Chetwynd, premiered in Gorge Square as part of the European Championship’s, cultural celebrations, Festival 2018 at 8th of August 2018 and shown in the Gallery 3 of GoMA at 9th of August 2018. I’m honored to be involved in this process and have served as one of the performance. This is an unforgettable experience for me by reason that I have interacted with the artist and participated in the filming process to learn more about this type of art.

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In addition, the vast and rich artistic resources and environment of Glasgow enriched my daily life. For example, I deeply attracted by a series of festival activities and art institutions, such as Glasgow Museums Resource Centre, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum, Riverside museum, The Modern Institute, Mary Mary, Glasgow Print Studio and Tramway.

Through the above activities and events, I rethought the work of an art collection curator. I learned that this position needs long-term accumulation of personal experience, not only for the exploration of artists and their works, but also for good communication and cooperation with other various departments in society. Then, I have realized that the curator would be required to constantly explore new things and focus on how to strengthen the interaction between individuals and social communities.

Finally, I am very grateful to Katie and Martin and all the staff in GoMA for giving me opportunities to learn about the work of a curator in an art institution. Special thanks for artist Monster Chetwynd inviting me to be a member of performers in her film and artist Jason E Bowman deciding to use my drawing document for marketing as a part of the queer times school project recording work. These experience will greatly help and influence my future work.

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