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Image of the Week: Would like to meet

1 Apr, 2016


This week museums across the world have been taking part in #MuseumWeek. Unfolding across social media platforms, the week celebrates all aspects of art and culture to connect museums with their visitors and each other.  Each day has had a theme, from architecture and heritage, to museum secrets and innovation.

Located next to the Wellcome Trust on Euston Road, Wellcome Collection is a free destination exploring the connections between medicine, life and art in the past, present and future. Via their own blog, Wellcome Collection often shares behind the scenes insights into the curious collections and life at the museum. To celebrate #MuseumWeek, we re-publish an article from a series entitled ‘Would like to meet’ that finds out more about the Visitor Experience Assistants who, aside from invigilating the galleries, write and provide tours and are a wealth of knowledge for visitors.

Here, Daniela Vasco introduces Anna Firbank, one of our Visitor Experience Assistant team members…

Time to meet my colleague, Anna. I remember when she started in March last year and I always see her in a lively mood!

Anna is from the seaside town of Brighton, which she loves. She studied neuroscience at university, but she refuses to call herself an expert in the subject. Despite her modesty, you’ll find she is the best person in the team to discuss the complexities of the human brain. Ann Veronica Janssens’ recent ‘yellowbluepink‘, the coloured mist installation part of ‘States of Mind’, was a good opportunity for her to further explore the subject of perception and sensory experience with visitors.

Anna is especially excited about the second part of ‘States of Mind: Tracing the edges of consciousness‘. She says “consciousness is an immediately fascinating subject that gives no easy answers, so I’m looking forward to discussing it with visitors.” Organising the Perspective Tours series for States of Mind is Anna’s big project at the moment: “I am currently starting to research speakers who will have an interesting take on the gallery.” She’s especially happy if there are muffins in the office to help immerse herself in her research.

Anna cycles everywhere. She is a campaigner for global sustainability and when she is not working she might well be blogging about the environment. She quite likes cycling down Euston Road: “It feels very London-y with all the historical ornate buildings and tree lined avenues.” Unsurprisingly, the pollution levels are far too high for her liking!

If you want to have a look at the Anna’s current favourite object in Wellcome Collection, go to the Reading Room on Level 2 and find the piece by the artist Helen Pynor called Liquid Ground. She describes it as “an underwater photograph that depicts a floating dress and displaced internal organs on its side. Which sounds really macabre and, to be fair, it is inspired by tales of drowning in the Thames. But I find it really peaceful and the turquoise backdrop is full of life.” She also finds this piece an interesting reflection on our disassociation with our own visceral, watery interiors. “Our tendency to avoid confronting the fact that we’re not hollow souls, we’re bodies filled with… stuff.”

You can read the full series of ‘WLTM’ articles on the Wellcome Collection blog. To find out more about #MuseumWeek, follow the hashtag or visit their website.

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