My research comes out of my many years as a practitioner. It examines the processes and practices of exhibition production, exploring the dual nature of exhibitions as both cultural product and producer: product of institutional practices and contexts, and producer of an account of the world to be viewed by visitors. I am particularly interested in the impact of institutional contexts and working practices, the representation of different voices, forms of narration and the impact of visual language on framing audiences.
I continue to work in this field on practice-based research projects and on an upcoming book.
My doctoral thesis, Exhibition Production as Processes of Translation, was completed in 2011. Using theories of linguistic translation, I developed a model to describe the relationship between a verbal account of an exhibition concept (in the form of documents and conversations), and the spatial, visual language of the final product. Within this, I created a new theorisation of the visual language of exhibitions, drawing on literary, film and architectural theories. In addition I used sociological theories to probe how a group of people from disparate backgrounds is transformed into an exhibition project team, and the impact that the form of this translation has on exhibition development. This research revealed that the ideas an exhibition conveys are influenced as much by the details of working practice as they are by the broader institutional contexts that initiated the project. The research raises questions about the ways in which exhibitions are developed, and the role of exhibitions in museums.
Please contact me for further information about my research.