I was lucky to have the opportunity to work with Kelli in collection management at the Whitworth Art Gallery. I like galleries very much but I’d never had the chance to learn more about the workings of a gallery. Therefore, I really appreciated the experiences I’ve gained from the gallery and our supervisor Amy.
During the days, I helped the Whitworth relocate their abundant collections, for the gallery underwent a capital expansion during 2014 and most of the collections had been moved into new stores. My main jobs were helping the gallery to re-roll the wallpapers and textiles, and record the accession number of the collections.
When Amy told us that our first job was rolling the wallpaper, I thought it might not be too difficult for us. However, the length of the wallpaper was 10 meters long, which was far longer than I imagined. As a result, I spent lots of time practicing. I had to really concentrate on the process of rolling in order to make sure the edge of the wallpaper was straight. If the edge of the roll was not straight enough, I had to re-roll a small part of the wallpaper. Amy told us the quality of a roll was more significant than the quantity; therefore, we always rolled the wallpaper with caution. Actually, I enjoyed rolling the wallpaper because I can listen to my favourite music when rolling. After completing the rolling, the wallpapers became one of the gallery’s exhibitions.
Our second job was recording the accession number of the collections and confirming their new location again. After the reopening of the Whitworth in 2015, a large number of collections had been moved into the new place in the new store. Therefore, we had to write down the accession number of the collections in order to know their new location. Then, we recorded the accession number in KE Emu, which is a collection management system and has been adopted by many museums and galleries all over the world. The job of recording the accession number seemed quite simple; however, I had to be cautious because the wrong location would make it difficult for the gallery to find their collections.
During the day, we usually had a coffee break in the staff room. We chatted a lot and shared the biscuits, sometimes even a pear. This made my placement days more joyful. In addition, I really like the atmosphere at the Whitworth Art Gallery, partly because the gallery staff were very nice to me, partly because the connection with the park made the gallery cosier. Finally, I would like to say thank you to my supervisor, Amy!