“The IM team had already achieved the impossible; to have representatives from many sectors of the building together in one place at the same time was no small feat! Participating were the directors, press and marketing department, curators, front of house managers, volunteers, gallery invigilators and our online and social media person. And this miracle was not a one off, but instalment one of two! So, within this somewhat novel, though not unhappy environment, we found ourselves greeted by the delightful combination of Dany and Alistair, self-described as our very own ‘good cop, bad cop’ team…”
One strand of the Interpretation Matters project is a programme of workshops designed to encourage the whole organisation to discuss their written interpretation in practice and process. The idea is that by putting concentrated time aside, the organisation can examine and review how they work and whether they want to make changes. The second aspect that has proved particularly valuable is a focus on writing techniques and how the organisation perceives its identity. The workshop asks if these crucial elements of a public identity are integrated, or is there opportunity for greater self-expression?
The De La Warr Pavilion in Bexhill, East Sussex, has been the first organisation to undergo The Interpretation Matters Workshop Experience! Invigilator Anna Graebe gives her first hand account of what happened on a new page on the Resources section of the site here: http://interpretationmatters.com/?page_id=553
It’s a thoughtful analysis of what happened and its value to the De La Warr Pavilion. If after reading it you think that this is a process that would be beneficial for your organisation, please don’t hesitate to contact me on firstname.lastname@example.org
Good news! Following last year’s period of planning and development, it’s a tremendous pleasure to announce that Interpretation Matters has been awarded project funding from Arts Council England!
This means that over the next two years, we can further develop and animate this website, work more closely with galleries and their audiences, and continue to facilitate discussion and debate about written interpretation produced by galleries.
In the summer months, you should see a presence for Interpretation Matters in many galleries across the country and on many more websites, as we reach out to gallery visitors and ask them to feedback on their textual experiences in the country’s galleries. This site will provide a neutral platform for that feedback and discussion to take place between galleries and their visitors. Do you have something to say about your gallery experience? Comment on any page on this site, or email email@example.com
With the help of artist Alistair Gentry, I will be working with project partners the De La Warr Pavilion and the Bluecoat to run a series of workshops with staff and visitors looking in detail at how their written interpretation is produced and received. There will also be an interactive text-exhibition at the Bluecoat, to further stimulate discussion with their visitors.
Around autumn, watch out for The Interpretation Matters Handbook, which will be published by Black Dog Publishing. Aimed at a general interested-in-art audience, it will be packed with contributions from a very interesting range of artists, curators, academics and, er, me. It will include audience voxpops, so if you are a gallery keen to facilitate this, or a gallery visitor and fancy getting your quote and picture in the book, please do contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org
Do you work at a gallery and want to get involved? There are two ways to do this:
First, if you are interested in gathering honest and unselfconscious feedback from your visitors, please do contact me for a display poster, and the Interpretation Matters Call to Action for your website.
Second, if you want to review your own process of producing written interpretation, Alistair and I have developed a workshop programme that facilitates this in an effective and painfree way!
We’re also looking for destination marketing and local authority websites who would like to upload the Interpretation Matters Call to Action on their visual arts page.
Finally, we are always looking for more resources, whether in the form of guides, discussion of models, personal or organisational experience, or simply an interest and informed knowledge in this area. Again, if you would like to contribute, don’t hesitate to email me at email@example.com
I hope to hear from a lot of you over the coming weeks and months, and I thank you for your continued support and interest.
Interpretation Matters is all about the written material found in galleries - the text panels on the walls, providing context for the work on show, and the printed booklets that describe the works or overall programme. Usually "under-the-radar", the aim of this site is to highlight this important area of gallery practice.
Interpretation Matters is conceived and directed by arts writer Dany Louise.>