ARTiculation Alumni – Work placement

Recently joined ARTiculation Alumni Naomi has just completed a work experience placement at the Holburne Museum, Bath, supported by ARTiculation. Below, she shares her experience:

I was introduced to the Roche Court Educational Trust in February 2018, as a member of the ARTiculation competition. The Regional Finals were held in the Holburne Museum in Bath, where I spoke about Spanish Baroque art and, afterwards, Roche Court helped me secure a work experience placement at the gallery.

My placement involved a mix of working as an assistant in a children’s art workshop and a gallery steward. On the first day, I worked with a visiting freelance sculptor who introduced a group of children aged between 7-11 years to the theme of the sea in art. After a small discussion about what the sea could represent in art, we took the group up to the gallery to see the paintings from the Holburne’s collection of Dutch Masterpieces from the Golden Age. The children used viewfinders to pick out aspects of the seascapes and sketched on little clipboards, and then made their own paintings of the sea from their inspirations. This sparked discussions about mark making, different uses of texture and brush strokes, and it was incredibly rewarding to have helped teach the children to become inspired by Old Masterpieces.

Another day, I worked with an artist who showed the children how to make sculptures of trees from willow branches. She first showed the group how to draw some trees and then encouraged them all to add to each others’ drawings, to teach them how artists often work in groups to build ideas. This workshop also incorporated paintings from the Holburne’s gallery, and the children were excited to try something 3D. The children went in pairs, with the older children helping the younger so, in this way, they taught each other. To me, this showed they felt really engaged with the workshop and so I felt like the work I was doing was worthwhile. While stewarding, I met a group of Italian Erasmus students that were also volunteering. I was placed in the temporary ‘Prized Possessions’ exhibition, which featured a collection of Dutch Golden Age paintings loaned from National Trust collections across the country, including a Rembrandt self-portrait.

Naomi Jennings O Toole 1

The Holburne Museum was a great place to work at, not only because of the amazing art that they hold, but the friendliness of the staff. They really made me feel as though they were happy to have me helping out and went out of their way to thank me and make me feel welcome as part of the voluntary team. The experience overall has helped me both develop my confidence in talking about art, to children and gallery visitors. I want to thank the Roche Court Educational Trust for supporting me with my placement, as the curators have offered a reference for me which will help substantially with my CV and University applications, which I would not have been able to achieve without the financial help from Roche Court.

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