Encounters of a Museum Kind

Fine hand skills, muscle memory, a kind of knowledge that we’re aware of, rely on and quite often, underestimate the importance of.

Advocating for the significance of embodiment in all processes of cognition and learning, Encounters on the Shop Floor: Embodiment and the Knowledge of the Maker moves beyond an unhelpful divide between ‘mind’ and ‘hand’ and instead seeks a corporeal concept of cognition.

In line with this approach we find the distinction between ‘intellectual’ and ‘manual’ knowledge and their disciplinary and institutional compartmentalization highly problematic. Our objective is to connect different worlds and experiences of knowledge-making around a common nucleus of embodied practice, combining academics operating within different fields of the arts, humanities and social sciences, clinicians, scientists, engineers, art/craft/design practitioners, performers, students, museum professionals, entrepreneurs and policy makers.

This is the very first workshop in the Encounters project, bringing together; musicians, puppeteers, magicians, embroiderers, doctors, surgeons and engineers. Such a range of skills from creating sculptures from seaweed to performing emergency bypass operations.  I captured as much of this experience as is possible with my sketch pad and camera.

Illustration by Eileen Budd

Illustration by Eileen Budd

Embroidered leaf by artist Fleur Oakes

Engraved seaweed by artist, Julia Lohmann

Senior Ceramics Curator, Reino Leafkes leads an object handling session, demonstrating a piece that has been designed for purpose

Richard Checketts and Aaron Williamon

Making Session

Making session with clay

Surgery simulation

Surgery simulation at a distance (for sensitive viewers)

Audience simulation at Royal College of Music

Puppetry workshop led by Rachel Warr, puppet pictured here with Julian Stair, Julia Lohmann and Pétur Jónasson

Working together to make the puppet move

There is so much more to come.

Throughout the project the operating theatre, the science lab, the art/craft/design workshop, the dance studio, the seminar room and other relevant professional environments will come into contact with each other. In doing so, Encounters aims to create models for participatory and collaborative research and teaching that can be used by others, well beyond the immediate scope of the project.

All photographs and Illustrations by Eileen Budd, VARI Project Manager

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