A place to keep and share the eclectic mix of things, pictures, places and people that have entertained and inspired me, and areas I would like to work in more. A list follows my instagram feed below.
Caberet Mechanical Theatre The place to go if you want to find out about automata or buy one of your own. I got particularly interested in automata when I was doing my MA Thesis about dioramas, dime museums and the relationship between high and low culture (education vs. entertainment) in exhibitions.
Jubilee Sailing Trust. A charity that operates the only two Tall Ships in the world that are adapted for sailing by disabled people. I volunteer with the JST and have crewed on Lord Nelson in the South Atlantic and Tenacious in the Channel.
The Museum of Jurassic Technology An amazing little museum in LA that doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good story. They have bizarre exhibits, free tea and cookies on the top floor and an amazing gift shop.
The Museum of Interesting Things. A travelling collection of ‘Interesting Things’ to inspire innovation and creativity. Last time I was in New York I had the pleasure of visiting a Secret Speakeasy hosted by the museum at the top of an apartment building in downtown Manhattan. The inspiring curator, Denny Daniel, was full of great stories about the eclectic collection. A good reminder that the opportunity to actually handle interesting objects in the company of a knowledgeable and enthusiastic host can provide an exceptional experience that rivals the flashiest interactives in the biggest museums.
National Fairground Archive I volunteered at the Sheffield University based NFA when I was an archaeology student. A fascination collection of material – the names speak for themselves – “Some of our key collections are the Shufflebottom and Smart Family Collections, the library of the Circus Friends Association of Great Britain (CFA), The John Bramwell Taylor Collection of ephemera, the Malcolm Airey Collection of circus material”
Not Another Bill I’ve always been obsessed with getting things through the post. This subscription site sends you (or a friend) a covetable limited edition designer present every month instead of a bill, handpicked by the founder Ned Corbet-Winder. The website is also beautifully designed, with a nice infogram on the FAQ page.
Ministry of Stories I volunteer here as a trained Story Minister helping school children to build their confidence and express themselves through fiction. They also have a cool shop called the Monster Supply Store. I love the branding and packaging by We Made This.
Listening Post I don’t believe in having favourites but if I did, this would be one of them. An immersive exhibit by Mark Hansen and Ben Rubin that creates an audiovisual symphony by taking live samples from conversations on the internet. Totally compelling and a bit spooky (EDIT: Now sadly permanently closed)
Punchdrunk Theatre A name you hear all the time in museum and heritage interpretation, the Punchdrunk approach has inspired more immersive, theatrical and human interactions in our work with an understanding that audiences want a memorable experience and they want to be touched (literally and figuratively!).
Wrap Magazine An independent magazine celebrating art and illustration. I used to stock it in my pop-up shop. Each issue features pull out sheets of lovely wrapping paper.
Zadar Sea Organ Coming firmly under the heading of ‘What I did on my holidays’, to me this is worth a mention because it works so beautifully. Pipes cut into the marble promenade in Zadar, Croatia are played randomly by lapping waves, creating a surprisingly tuneful, if mournful, song.