Deborah Withers’ lecture Contemporary Intangible Heritage and Archiving Memory: Music making in the UK Women’s Liberation Movement, as part of the Innovative Heritage Conference 2014 initially grabbed my attention for a non-academic reason; the fact that I am a devoted Kate Bush fan. Deborah Withers is the author of Adventures in Kate Bush and Theory, a self-published book (HammerOn Press – a grassroots publishing label) about how Kate Bush’s music liberated female creativity and acted as a catalyst for solo female artists’ to express themselves in an entirely new way. Kate Bush aside, her lecture also sparked an academic interest within me due to the fact that I specialised in the broad topic, ‘Women and Feminist Movements in Europe’ as part of my undergraduate degree in History. Continue reading
The definition of an optical illusion is, ‘an experience of seeming to see something which does not exist or is other than it appears.’  Optical illusions always fascinated me as a child (and they still do). Perhaps that’s why I am so interested in the mind-boggling fact that people can look at the same thing yet conceive of something completely different. But you can apply this simple statement to anything – that’s pretty much what having an opinion is all about, right? Let’s run with this idea anyway, an optical illusion shows us that two people can look at the same thing, have different perceptions, yet both can be right. Both can be honest and sincere and both can be right according to their perspective. Does this then mean that everything we interpret is intrinsically linked to our own preconceived opinions and perceptions? This question fascinates me, especially when we apply it to the museum space.
Image: New Old Stock, ‘Surfing at Ballina (NSW)’
I would like to offer some thoughts on museum professional, Nina Simon’s blog post because two important themes stood out for me, the issue of museums and communities and how important each is to the other, as discussed by Elizabeth Crooke. As well as Laura Jane Smith’s, idea of ‘heritage as a cultural process.’ I particularly enjoyed seeing the connections that could be drawn between Elizabeth Crooke and Laura Jane Smith’s ideas and Nina Simon’s actual experience of organising an exhibition.