Maryborough “Collective Insites” project gets underway

Niels Ellmoos at Maryborough Historical Society

The Collective Insites project approaches the museum as a place of relevance to contemporary culture and local community.  The intention is to stimulate audience engagement and interest in museums through innovative approaches to interpreting and examining their collections.

Five artists will  focus their attention on the historic collections in the regional town of Maryborough in Queensland, Australia. They will interact with the objects in the collections in creative ways, and to explore and invigorate the interface between the collection and the audience. They will be encouraged to question the assumptions and expectations interwoven into museum practice and the acquisition, ordering and display of objects in the museum context.

David Hodges and Peta Duggan at the Workshop

The artists were selected  to be part of ‘Collective Insites’ are David Hodges, Peta Duggan, Christine Turner, Niels Ellmoos, and Susan Hutton.

The project began in earnest on the last weekend in January with a two day workshop that brought together Curator, Judy Barrass, Fiona Mohr, regional Museum Development Officer and the five artists.

In the workshop Fiona Mohr  introduced the artists to traditional  museum practices and approaches and gave a brief overview of  the historical collections that will be part of the project. Curator Judy Barrass gave a presentation on the many ways artists have interacted with, worked with, or commented on museums, collections and collecting, and museum practice. A visit to the local Historical Society collection was used as the starting point for discussion on approaches to dealing with objects  versus  stories or entire collections, and the difficulties artists might face in being ‘guided’ towards certain interpretations or stories.

Each of the artists was allocated a museum to work with for the duration of the project.

Peta Duggan talks about her reaction to visiting the Historical Society

The collections included in the project are Brennan and Geraghty’s store, The Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum, MavisBank,  Maryborough Historical Society and industrial objects in various collections, including Walkers and Croydon Foundry moulds.

The artists will now go on to spend several months working with individual museums before the group exhibition in May at Gatakers Artspace in Maryborough.

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