A core aspect of our project involves the recruitment of a team of Community Ambassadors who will work regularly with Wallace Collection staff from February 2012 to February 2013. During these twelve months the Community Ambassadors will learn about the Museum, it’s works of art, how to care for and display historical artefacts, different forms of display and exhibition interpretation, museum education, public programming and museum and exhibition marketing. In learning about these museological practices the Community Ambassadors will become well-trained to work closely with the 60 adults, children and elderly people from Newham Family Learning Services, West Hampstead Women’s Group and Annia Women’s group to advise and assist the project participants in creating display, interpretation and marketing strategies for an intergenerational community exhibition that will be held at the Wallace Collection in January and February 2013. Our Community Ambassadors will also be able to guide project participants on how to plan and deliver accompanying school, family and adult activities. Additionally, the Community Ambassadors will be trained to work closely with different staff departments in the Wallace Collection to inspire the Museum to explore new and different forms of exhibition interpretation, educational activities and marketing strategies to innovate the museum, making it more appealing to new and broader audiences.
On the 10th February our Community Ambassadors met for the first time and were given a tour of the Wallace Collection. They also met with Clare O Brian (Head of Development and Marketing) and Beth Humphries (Development Officer) for an introduction to the Museum’s Development and Marketing Department and with Anne Fay (Head of Education) for an introduction to the Wallace Collection’s Education Department. We really enjoyed meeting all of the Community Ambassadors and we also hope that they enjoyed meeting us!
Over the next twelve months the Community Ambassadors will be assisting with many elements of our project and the Wallace Collection’s working policies and practices and also considering many different issues, the first of which is what their role is in the project and what they are hoping to get out of and to contribute to the project.
One of our Community Ambassadors is Trevor Caffoor who is an artist and freelance educator with a strong interest in the history and techniques of 17th to 19th century painting as presented at the Wallace Collection. He is undertaking the community ambassador programme to gain an insight and experiences of working within a national museum and hopes, with his teaching and cultural background, to be able to provide assistance with the Intergenerational Community Project or any other such projects that can help to increase an interest in the Wallace Collection.
Another of our Community Ambassadors is Khosi Manaka and she is also an artist. Here is a description about her work and three of her paintings;
“I render my work almost instinctively in an organic abstract and yet conceptual form of depiction depending on the mood of the moment as well as of the subject to be captured and portrayed. The colours, I chose selectively to fit in with the mood. I also tend to incorporate aesthetics within the fabric of any particular painting as an added technique be it to influence the eye as it were or to temper the passion.
In these three paintings I was rendering a Contemporay Historical Perpective of South Africa. These I had exhibited some years back with South African Culture and Tourism at Hanover Square London alongside Louis Maqubela ( the renowned South African Veteran Artist) and alongside us (good or bad) were a display of the South African de Beers Diamonds- At that time I was just at right place at the right time. It was a bit of fun!!!
The first Painting entitled:‘The Island that Robbed’ refers to Robben Island where Nelson Madiba was confined and incarcerated during Apartheid South Africa.
The second Painting is entitled: ‘Scourge of the Virus’ which relates to the HIV and AIDS whichhas been ravaging South Africa.
The third Painting is entiltled : ‘The Green Green Grass of Hope’ refers to the aftermath of all which provides humanity with a new leaf, after all is said and done. This is set against the backdrop of the dunes with the lush green sprouting out.
I also work variedly, at the present moment I do a lot of doodling to explore the fascination of line using pens or inks. I am developing this line style which I have called a Khosiesque style from which I am hoping to develop into a Khosiesque Genre— if and only if I can sustain the ambition!!! which is often a difficult thing!!!”