I graduated from the BA Performance Design degree in 2010, with my particular interests lying in spatial design and immersive experience. This translated to a dissertation considering the role that scenography plays in museums. Having been encouraged to follow this route by tutors in the school, I combined my passions for design and academia by studying a Master’s degree at the University of Leeds in Art Gallery and Museum Studies. This was a unique opportunity to gain scholarship from museum studies to enhance my knowledge and interests in scenography, and the role they both play in immersive exhibitions. My MA dissertation considered the role that scenography plays in the recreation of historic spaces in museums, and the role theatre plays in creating historical fiction. The skills I learnt on my BA degree were invaluable for my MA, especially as there is currently an emerging interest in the role of theatre design techniques in the museum and the opportunity for new discussion.
I am now working as an Exhibitions Assistant at Dulwich Picture Gallery, London. My experiences in the school have been invaluable in this hands-on role. In particular, my spatial awareness and technical drawing skills have helped to plan the layout of exhibitions. Having worked in Adobe programmes and CAD to produce storyboards and plans whilst studying, I have been able to provide the gallery with new technical plans, and encourage the use of CAD and 3D programmes. The buzz of backstage before a performance that I enjoyed so much, remains in the temporary galleries during an install. I still enjoy a high-pressure, creative environment. My skills from Performance Design will be tested when assisting with a large-scale Murillo exhibition in January. This involves the recreation of a church inside the permanent collection, using a combination of spatial design and lighting to compliment suspended lunettes. Although I have not chosen to pursue a career within performance, the experiences I gained during my time with the School of Performance & Cultural Industries have provided me with the creativity, and practical skills, to enable me to approach exhibitions in an innovative and exciting way.