Making An Exhibition
Bump Buddies has been working with Hackney Museum to think about how we can tell stories of mothers in Hackney in 2018. The V&A is also supporting this project.
We have been exploring how we can use objects in the Museum’s collection to tell the stories of Hackney mums. We will use these to build an exhibition at the Hackney Museum summer 2018.
Exploring Hackney Museum
During the first week, the group looked around the museum’s permanent displays, which explore the different reasons that people have migrated to Hackney, from the Anglo Saxons to today.
The Museum has lots of objects relating to motherhood - you can visit the Museum to look at these or explore their online collection here: http://museum.hackney.gov.uk/home
Making Her Mark
Woman in Hackney have had a huge influence on the borough; we looked around Hackney Museum’s temporary exhibition, Making Her Mark: 100 years of women’s activism in Hackney.
We explored stories that interested the participants - again, each participant chose something different and used the objects to reflect on their own experiences. The exhibition also helped us to explore different techniques used by curators. The group also started to think about what sort of exhibition they’d like to create.
7 days, 1 photo
We asked the women involved in the project to choose one photo that represents their week.
They explained why they chose these images.
Photo by Kim
“I wanted to capture the moment which shows the relationship between father and son.”
Photo by Hawa
“I’m trying to promote our African prints and I wanted my mum to see the outfit she sent to me and be happy. This was the first image of us together since this project started - a picture of mother and daughter love.”
Photo by Kirsty
“I thought it was a cute moment… I woke up and she was already awake with her dad and she came over and gave me a hug.”
Photo by Ayat
“Every half term we go to the cinema - normally I spend £6 for the tickets - the film I booked I spent £39. I had to book two showing to fill the time gap and so each (child) could watch something they wanted.”
Photo by Nattisha
“When I look at that picture I feel the unconditional love!”
Women supporting women
One of the key themes that has emerged during the project has been women supporting women.
One participant described feeling really lonely in the early days of being a new mum. She wanted other women to know that they aren’t alone at this time and suggested that we could make postcards with positive messages written on them.
Another member of the group created these images in response.
Designing the exhibition
The women were asked to think about how the exhibition may look. They used a picture of the exhibition space and drew or wrote about what their exhibition may look like.
This is the exhibition space:
Plan of the platform space
During the session we were visited by Mayor Phillip Glanville on International Women’s day! He was interested in hearing about how the project came about and what the women were hoping to get from it.
Visit from Mayor Glanville
Ideas for the platform space
“On the big wall I have made an Instagram feed with information about fun things you can do with your child and where to get information; on the small wall we can have the professional photographs; a play area for the children on the floor; a stand for postcards for women to take away with them! I’ve made the hashtags already!”
Shiri's idea (no background)
Shiri's idea (with background)
"The participants are mothers living in Hackney, they are not rich or famous and don't usually get to be celebrated by public institutions. It was clear from the start that the exhibition is a great opportunity to share their personal experiences and bring to the front their challenges and triumphs as mothers, women and Hackney residents.
Together we looked for ways to focus the exhibition on the group, but not to turn them into 'objects' - we wanted to represent them as whole human beings. Using life-size images means that visitors will have to 'look them in the eye' when they come into the museum and share the exhibition space with them on an equal level (not looking down!).
We also paid special attention to how each of the portraits will 'come off the wall' and be present in the gallery space - through sound, material or objects. This means that visitors get to engage with their messages in a more experiential way. Additional content will be digital images created by each participant, as well as images contributed by mothers elsewhere, via social media."
Mock up of how the platform space could be used
This is a mock-up of how the life-sized photos will look within the platform space.
You can find out what the finished exhibition looks like at The Hackney Museum in May 2018.