Much of the work completed in the 'Project Stories' section of this website is relevant to an ongoing research project about fragmented family histories concerning loss, survival, and exile. A legacy of treasured family photographs is the starting point for making work about rich but forgotten worlds of manufacturing in stocking, lace and wallpaper across Europe.
'Tree' is a research proposal that was originally submitted to the Centre for Cultural Value as a collaboration between educator and museum professional Elaine Bates and artist Michelle Olivier.
EB Collage experiment before Cultural Value Submission
HT Collage experiment before Cultural Value Submission
'Tree' hopes to explore whether the particular process of collage making could be beneficial to under represented communities in exploring their stories and futures. Working together over 2022 a series of conversations about our different practices led to the proposal and will be the basis of further submissions to research groups.
Starting with the idea of growth and building on collective documentation we took the image of the tree to suggest possibilities for research into family trees, broken trees (exile) and trees as symbols of past, present and future (roots, branches and buds). Elaine Bates MA (Early Years) is a researcher, educator and museum professional. Her most recent work experience was at Manchester Museum (2006 – 2020) as Early years Coordinator. Working in partnership with local stakeholders she encouraged access to cultural venues for previously non visiting families in order to support a range of improved outcomes, including, social, emotional and developmental. This included working with musicians, storytellers and health professionals to develop programmes for parents with babies, including mothers with or at risk of post-natal depression. She has been a governor at a Nursery school and children’s centre set within a diverse community in Manchester (since 2011) and is currently Chair of Governors. Recent publications: Bates,E. (2018)’ Can natural history collections support a connection to nature for young children and families?’ Museum & Society, 16(3) 369 Ed.Hackett,A; Holmes,R.: MaCRae.( Ed’s) (2020) Working with Young Children in Museums (Case study contribution Manchester Museum)
Michelle's work explores how mixed race people and relationships are represented, and her collage work is concerned with these complex issues.
'Looking Harder, Thinking Differently' is a research project with The Dermatology Centre at Salford Royal NHS Foundation Trust based on a pilot programme to find out if visual observation skillsin trainee dermatologists can be improved through analysing works of arts.
The University of Nottingham's 'Clay Transformations' project investigated the therapeutic uses of clay and was part of an important project developing clinical research teams (in this case psychologists) with artists.
Creative research collaboration within the field of arts and health, teacher training and museum evaluation has included workshops, community events and recording/training with oral history groups. Publications include exhibition catalogues and learning materials for Arts Council England, Bolton Art Gallery and Museum, Bury Art Museum, Manchester Art Gallery and Nottingham Contemporary.
Learning initiatives with children and teachers over twenty years has shown the benefits of working with museum and gallery collections through engaging with contemporary artists. Many of these have built on work that uses the museum as an extended classroom. The ongoing project 'The Museum of Me' uses the practices and traditions of museums to encourage children and teachers to research their particular communities and personal histories, using unusual media and contemporary art processes.
I continue to teach graduate and postgraduate students of Fine Art, Museums Studies and History of Art and Design. Previous visiting lectures include at the University of Bolton, Manchester Metropolitan University, Nottingham Trent University, Staffordshire University and Wolverhampton University.