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Theory into Practice: Student Work Placement at Kettle’s Yard

I’m Molly, and I am about to finish an MA in Museum Studies at the University of Leicester. Since July, I have been lucky enough to undertake a placement as part of my course as Community CoLAB Assistant Curator at Kettle’s Yard.

My role has involved assisting with all elements of CoLAB, the pilot programme that took over the Clore Learning Studio this summer. I hugely enjoyed helping to organise, develop, and deliver CoLAB. It was a pleasure to work closely with the Community and Learning team and with CoLAB’s artist Kaitlin Ferguson.

I particularly loved bringing CoLAB together in response to the artist’s and community’s vision. When transforming the Learning Studio, Kaitlin and I met frequently with a group of community collaborators who shared their perspectives on making the space as welcoming and inclusive as possible.

CoLAB’s final display also allowed others who had been involved to see their impact on the project. People who had taken part in a workshop, drawn something during an open day, or just dropped in for a chat could come and see their ideas, reflections, and artworks exhibited. It felt really special to be able to put their work in the context of Kettle’s Yard, and to share that with them and everyone else who came to look.

Researching and writing an evaluation of CoLAB has helped me to reflect on how much I have learned from the placement. I can now see that the compromises necessary for collaboration often result in something more exciting than anyone could have envisioned by themselves. I have also gained countless completely new skills, from managing budgets to using a raised-line printer and washing clay out of 3D printer nozzles.

Photo by My Linh Le
Photo by My Linh Le
Photo by My Linh Le