BIRMINGHAM Museum & Art Gallery (BMAG) is part of a new six-part series, The Caretakers, which is offers a rare glimpse into life for security staff and those maintaining buildings and collections during lockdown.
It is delivered by contemporary artist Eloise Moody and supported by arts organisation Metal.
The behind-the-scenes recordings at BMAG, created by Museum Manager Gurminder Kenth, will be available from today, Saturday, via the museum’s social media channels.
The other museums and galleries taking part are: Kettle’s Yard, Museum of London, Royal Museums Greenwich, Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford and Southend Museums.
The Caretakers aims to offer listeners a sneak peek of their beloved collections, ahead of the gradual reopening of the sector following lockdown. Each episode centres on one object, chosen and narrated by a member of a security or maintenance team, offering a reimagined take on the traditional curator-led tour format.
In the BMAG recording, Gurminder reflects on the very different experience of being in the museum while it’s closed to the public.
The particular focus is on the Round Room where a sculpture of Lucifer by Sir Jacob Epstein dominates the centre of the space surrounded by portraits and landscapes that adorn the walls.
This solitary experience gives listeners a unique insight into the museum during lockdown.
The whole series offers rare access into the hidden worlds of museums and galleries and the people that have been looking after them during the Covid-19 pandemic with diligence, passion and deep commitment to our heritage.
Gurminder said: “It was a brilliant experience to be part of this project and give listeners an insight into how my role has changed during this unique time.
“Working in the museum without colleagues and visitors has given me a completely different perspective of the collection and the building.
“And while we can’t wait to see the museum buzzing with people once again in the future, I’m so pleased we can share this rare glimpse of the museum with listeners.”
Eloise added: “While security and caretaking staff are the only people allowed inside our national museums and galleries, The Caretakers allow us to perch invisibly on their shoulders, seeing what takes their interest and noticing what they stop to consider.
“We are granted a personal tour offering fresh perspectives on suspended collections.”
You can hear the recording from Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery via @BM_AG and @caretakertales on Twitter, @birmingham_mag on Instagram and on Facebook from today, Saturday.