2021: Volunteering at Culture Warrington

In 2021, I volunteered at the exhibitions ‘Slap Bang!’ and ‘At No.25’ held in Warrington, United Kingdom, during the Christmas season in December.

Slap Bang! was, unfortunately, an exhibition that did not hold any importance in my career development apart from understanding how not to run an exhibition. The exhibition barely had anyone enter due to its location being in an old (then abandoned) M&S location without much indication that it was being used for an art exhibition.

The way that we had to ask the public questions was quite uncomfortable as it was more of an interview, and we had to ask for visitor postcodes – which, of course, is something that most people would write onto a survey rather than being asked in an isolated room in an abandoned building.

Bottomline: I learned that location is the most important aspect to consider when hosting an exhibition. It also maintains that the staff and volunteers are comfortable in the space and that it is a safe space for visitors. Promotion is very important to consider when conceptualizing an exhibition so that visitors know it is going on.

At No.25 in Warrington. Photograph from 2021
At No.25

At No.25, it was different as there were many visitors to this installation exhibition- I enjoyed volunteering there a lot. I chose to be there rather than at the Slap Bang! Exhibit. The questions we were told to ask were less uncomfortable and more appropriate, along with it being natural, as it was easy to create conversation with visitors.

Bottomline: When creating an exhibition- understanding how visitors will react to the space and installation is important. It is key when interacting with the public to have a homely and warm vibe.


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JOSHUA OBARA NORWOOD