A number of The Wallich’s service users have been invited to co-curate their own exhibition with The Derek Williams Trust and National Museum Cardiff. Together, they’ve created the Who Decides? exhibition.

Read the stories of the museum project’s participants and their fascinating journey through contemporary art.

Ian’s blog: How’s it going?

Just a few notes to keep you up-to-date with The Wallich, The Derek Williams Trust and the National Museum of Wales exhibition: Who Decides.

We have had a few interesting sessions over the past few weeks. For a start, the gallery is now completely clear – ready for our exhibit to be put up.

It’s amazing how much bigger it looks at the moment without anything in it. Though, that will be changing in the next few weeks.

On Tuesday 12 September, we were discussing which of us could play another part in the exhibition, such as front of house, guided tours etc.

Tuesday this week (19 September), we were discussing ideas about how to attract people to the museum to visit our exhibition.

One of these ideas was to have workshops in relation to the event, with a large emphasis on school holidays when children are off school, such as Half Term, Easter and Christmas. We could, for example, have a Christmas theme during the Christmas Holidays – as long as it was relevant to the exhibition.

We also discussed how we could get families involved, perhaps even having competitions to make it more interesting.

All my colleagues, both from The Wallich and the museum, are thoroughly enjoying it – as we have been from the start. It is now getting to the business-end of our preparations and we are all really looking forward to the launch date on the 26th October.

The whole team are really looking forward to our “sneak preview” tour the evening before it opens, when special guests will be invited to see all the hard work that has gone into the project.

In a strange way, I am not looking forward to the exhibition starting as much. I have really enjoyed our time planning it. BUT! I am sure I will love it even more when it starts.

Ian’s blog: Getting started

We started to prepare and organise this project in March 2017. I was asked if I would be interested in being part of it a few weeks earlier and jumped at the chance.

I have visited a few art exhibitions in several museums around Europe. I found them interesting, but never really “appreciated” what I was looking at, no matter how beautiful the art work was.

I have learnt from this project how to look at a piece of work, whether it be a sculpture or a painting.

After being invited to be a part of the project and accepting, I saw it as an opportunity to enhance not only my own cultural knowledge and values, but to offer visitors to Cardiff an exciting and valuable experience when they visit our beautiful city and Museum. It has also given me an opportunity to learn not only about the National Museum of Wales, but to also appreciate art. I have looked at a piece of work and thought “Oh, that’s nice” but not really stood there and appreciated it, or understood what the work was telling me.

I have taken great pride in my contribution to this exhibition and cannot wait until it is up and running, almost like a child on Christmas Eve waiting for Christmas Morning.

When we started in March, we started off by getting to know about what it involved. We would be involved in getting to know a bit more about the exhibition, how the museum works and how to choose our works.

Since then, the pressure has intensified as the launch date is getting closer. At the time of writing, we are finalising our works and starting to think about displaying them.

The majority of the works have been chosen by our team to be displayed. We have, however, been able to choose an individual piece to be displayed. Even though it is a team effort, it is still nice to be able to say that I chose a particular piece to be displayed.

Back to The Wallich’s Museum Project page.

The Who Decides? exhibition will take place between 28 October 2017 - 2 September 2018 at the National Museum Cardiff.
Visit the co-curated museum project in association with The Derek Williams Trust, National Museum Wales and The Wallich.