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Jodie flies east around the world

Jodie flies east around the world

Over the past few years, changes within academia and government have resulted in a surge towards apprenticeships in business. I work alongside Jodie Neely, an apprentice at the Manor House Museum and Alfred East Art Gallery in Kettering. She has worked there since July 2015 and is working towards a Level 3 NVQ in Business Admin. However, this is no ordinary apprenticeship in Business Admin.

Jodie’s experience is very different from her peers elsewhere within the Council, and she is currently preparing to install an art exhibition at the gallery that she has compiled from artworks of the permanent collection. I decided to pick her brains about the whole experience.

Lots of people within the heritage industry would love to have this opportunity, what’s been your favourite part so far? 

JN: All of it. I’m gaining qualifications whilst gaining hands-on practical experience, day to day tasks are varied, and I love the team I work with. I’ve not only learnt a lot about the business admin workings of a heritage site, but get to use my creativity too.

What’s been the most challenging aspect of preparing the Around the World in 18 Frames exhibition?

JN: I need to write a text panel about why I’ve compiled it. Why is such a difficult question to answer because although it’s being marked as a part of my apprenticeship through a ‘manage an event’ unit of work (the simple answer), talking about myself and my reasons is something I think most people struggle with.

What have you learnt during the exhibition?

JN: I’ve learnt how to test my exhibition text in terms of readability, which was really interesting; I even went home and tested it on my creative writing. I also feel I’ve been spurred on by my research for the exhibition. The research has taught me a lot about the world and made me realise that I want to travel to more destinations than I originally thought. My overall experience as an apprentice has been fun; it’s given me a great opportunity.

Jodie and I have also worked together on a branch-off project to the exhibition, called Alf Flies East. The idea is to send the Alfred East Art Gallery permanent collection around the world using postcards, which show images of some of the most famous artwork from the gallery. People who then receive these postcards can add their own artwork to the back of the postcard and return them to the gallery. This will mean that people far and wide will be able to see a small part of the collection and the Gallery will gain a wide range of beautiful artworks that may be shown in an exhibition at a later date. Look out for #AlfFliesEast on social media.

Around the World in 18 Frames is exhibiting in the Small Gallery of the Alfred East Art Gallery, Sheep Street, Kettering from 4th March to 13th May 2017, with the Alf Flies East project running throughout. All are welcome to attend the evening viewing on 16th March 6-8pm. This event will include the special unveiling of the newly conserved painting Lake de Bourget from Mont Revard by Sir Alfred East.

​By Siân Fox, Resilience Syndicate Intern at Kettering Museum

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