I really enjoyed actually doing the curation from scratch. We’ve done it in the past with Andrew Bracey but some of the work was already installed so we had to work around this This time the walls were empty and we had to really think about where to place works and think about the space. Like the way a curator would normally use the space- it was like being in their shoes for a bit.
I had never really known anything about Tennyson before as I am home-schooled and hadn’t heard much about him, but I had read some of his poems. It was interesting to see how much of an idol he was. I never really realised that people in those days were idols- especially a poet. I liked how weird the pieces were- you wouldn’t see that now, the closest thing you get now is the Royal Family and their cups- funny! You wouldn’t get a metal plate, sewing boxes, or portrait, posters, yes, but not portraits!
I really liked the kitsch objects, like the coin thing with the background that was velour; it was a really great contrast to how we think about celebrities nowadays. Nowadays if you like celebrities and stuff you can find so much out on the internet, join groups, join forums etc. but the Tennyson memorabilia is a signifier that people in the past thought him important enough to make these objects to commemorate/celebrate him. We don’t have endless streams of virtual communication about celebrities like we’d have today but objects that imply his importance at the time.