Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Flower Arrangement

I've been at the museum for the past two days, helping set up the upcoming special exhibit. It has been a lot of fun and has given me the opportunity to work on something different from my usual translation and editing. The museum is currently preparing two different special exhibits, one of the cover art for the magazine/journal published by the foundation, and one of dolls recently donated to the museum. The exhibits are completely unrelated and being held in different spaces, but the same curator is in charge and much of the preparation is going on together.

I spent most of yesterday scoring, cutting, and folding plastic sheets to make protective covers for some of the nearly 150 magazines to be displayed. The actual work was repetitive and somewhat dull, but we worked in the special exhibit space where the dolls were being set up, so I enjoyed watching the curator responsible for the exhibit as she ran about, the doll specialists as they arranged the dolls, and the exhibit professionals as they worked on exhibit cases/made stands/pinned labels/any of the other million little tasks that go into putting together an exhibit.

I spent most of today attaching branches of fake plum flowers to three wooden screens. Two of the screens will block off a doorway that won't be used, and the other screen will be placed in the main lobby, holding pamphlets and enticing visitors upstairs to the exhibit. The curator in charge of the exhibit gave me free reign to arrange the flowers, saying it was up to me how they were displayed. The exhibit specialist (who had built the screens) kept an eye on me as I started. When I finished the first screen he complimented me generously, saying I had a good eye. He and the curator chatted a bit, admiring the work, and she assured him that I was the one to give this type of work to. I was pretty happy to catch that comment. As the only English-speaker at the museum I know I have a valuable skill set, but it sure is nice to be useful for something besides my English ability! As a good friend remarked, I'm anal about this kind of thing, which I guess is a good thing?!

My screens:

When I left today the exhibit guys were using brightly coloured material to cover the bottoms of cases and as bunting from the ceiling. The curator was also plotting to make a wreath of fake plum blossoms to adorn the large stone bust in the lobby... There is also a small discount offered to visitors who wear pink (the favourite colour of the women who donated the dolls). It should be an amusing change for the face of the museum which can be rather serious most of the time!

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