Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum partners with disability organisations to co-create a new audio resource. The project, RAMMsounds, will enable people with disabilities to access the museum spaces in a new and playful way.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is working with external partner Stuart Crewes, and with individuals supported by disability partner organisations Magic Carpet, Pelican Project, CEDA and Learn to Live: 19-25 to produce the audio resource.
A series of immersive online workshops led by local creative practitioners Felicity Shillingford and Cara Roxanne are being used to generate content for the audio guide. The sessions draw out stories, views, movements, ideas and reactions from the participant groups. The creative practitioners use RAMM sights and sounds as stimulus for the sessions, as well as sharing pre-session packs with the participants.
Lead disabled artist Gemma Nash has been appointed to direct and shape the project. Focusing on the theme of ‘movement’, the sessions consider how our bodies move in space and time, and how they articulate and transport us. Participants are invited to explore how this theme extends to non-humans, objects, textiles and images, such as those found in RAMM’s collections.
Narrative and stories
The final work will be available for visitors to support their journey through the spaces of the museum. It is intended to bring new narratives and stories to light, created by people with a diverse range of abilities and experiences; and to suggest alternative possible states of physicality and ways of moving.
Lead disabled artist, Gemma Nash, said: ‘I am looking forward to working in collaboration with fellow artists and community co-producers to create work which will help to inspire visitors to engage with the museum’s extensive collection in a different way. Disabled people are not often included in the shaping of museum collections, and so this co-production will be a superb opportunity to include our unique experiences and help promote inclusivity and diversity.’
Fresh and unexpected
External partner, Stuart Crewes, said: ‘I am excited to be a part of another co-creating project with RAMM – it’s vital that large institutions which are so much a part of holding and telling the stories of a place are open to the re-reading and re-telling of those stories. I’m expecting the people in this project to bring some fresh and marvellously unexpected perspectives on the collection and way we occupy space in one of the city’s most treasured places.’
Disability partner organisation, Learn to Live 19-25, said: ‘All clients really loved the session and are looking forward to the next one. Staff commented on how much focus the group retained throughout the session and the fact that they all collaborated with each other.’
Launched in May 2021, RAMMsounds is part-funded by the Claire Milne Trust, with additional financial support from Elmgrant Trust and other small trusts and foundations.