Display in Focus: Identity & Self-expression

Hi!

I’m Aainaa, one of members of the Museum Geeks team. I’m here to give some background information and behind-the-scenes look of the ‘Identity & Self-expression’ display.

Firstly, the display is one of two that are located at the Museum of English Rural Life, just by the London Road campus of Uni.

17274411_10212239452571534_927751548_nBehind the scenes action shot!

This display focuses on the personal aspects of queer theory in terms of personal and social identity, particularly surrounding sexuality and gender roles. The aim of the display, as part of the exhibition, is to make people more aware of the issues surrounding normative sexuality and the complexity of identity, while challenging gender norms.

Through this display, I hope to provoke thought in visitors and allow people to have an open discussion and debate around the topics presented in the display and throughout the exhibition as a whole.

17274223_10212239453611560_586164488_nAfter almost everything was laid out

Because of the large wall space of the display case, I had decided early on to incorporate the art collection and other objects that would be effective in grabbing people’s attentions. Because of this, I had to carefully consider the design plan for this display.

case designMy rough design plan sketched out

Along with the art collection, I had also identified items from the MERL Archive and Special collections, Typography’s Ephemera collection, and the Ladybird collection. These were used to showcase the concept of gender norms and heteronormativity.

20170224_154518A piece from the Ephemera collection that didn’t make the cut

In addition to these, I was also able to incorporate contemporary collections through collaborating with Ellie Wilsden, a third year UoR Art student, as well as using some objects that belong to the Museum Geeks team in the display, to further illustrate the idea of ‘self-expression’ and ‘identity’. These items included a number of things, from baby clothes, to sunglasses, and from lipstick tubes to hair dye.

17274481_10212239453131548_1735749384_nPutting on some finishing touches on the objects from the Museum Geeks team

There is also an interactive element to accompany this display, whereby visitors are invited to ‘label’ and ‘express’ themselves by using blank labels and pens that have been provided just by the display case. Along with these are some badges designed by Ellie Wilsden, that have been made available for grabs for a 50p donation.

C6zrfDXXUAIxQ2FThese badges are designed by art student Ellie Wilsden (visit her blog at https://elliewilsdenart.wordpress.com/)

If you’re interested in this subject matter, want to look at interesting objects, or just want some badges and labels for your collection, I encourage you to visit this display at the Museum of English Rural Life.

Take a photo of your label, your badges, or yourself, and tag it with #AboutandOut for us to see!

For any questions, comments, suggestions or feedback, please feel free to contact us via email at museumgeeks@gmail.com!

Big thanks,

Aainaa (Museum Geek)

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