While the Book of the Dead exhibition was on, the Garstang put in a successful bid for a week-long workshop at the Tate Liverpool. The workshop was based on the Book of the Dead exhibition, but was art-focused, without the artefacts. It featured my photography, prominently, as well the art of Leigh Gallagher, a comic-book artist. It ran from 4–10 December 2017, and I did a photography workshop or two for it. Roland Enmarch also did a couple of talks on the Book of the Dead and Egyptian funerary beliefs.
A week as a Liverpool Tate Exchange Workshop
I’m happy to say the Exchange Workshop went well and I had such a great week; I was truly excited to see my photos on the wall of the Tate! (I can now tag myself ‘as seen at the Tate’ 🙂 .)
The Tate Exchange space is on the first floor of the building within one of the main galleries, right inside the main doorway.
As well as my pictures, there was a TV showing a video created by Leigh Gallagher, showing his design and illustration process of Ammit the Devourer for one of the graphic novels he worked on (Ammit was an Egyptian mythological beast – part crocodile, part lion, part hippo – who sat beside the scales of judgement, ready to devour those whose hearts weighed heavier than the feather of truth … nom!).
There were also tables with paper, pencils, books and spells from the Book of the Dead to help visitors create their own afterlife spells, which were then pinned up on the wall next to my photos.
Workshops and talks
During the week, Dr Roland Enmarch and I put on a couple of additional events. Roland talked about the Book of the Dead and the Egyptian iconography of the afterlife, relating it to pieces being shown in the Surrealism in Egypt exhibition showing at the Tate at the same time.
We finished the workshops off with a practical session, photographing some Egyptian artefacts brought down from the Garstang.
I really enjoyed the workshops; it was a step forward for me as not only was it the first time I’d done this workshop, it was the first time I’d hosted any kind of workshop. I had some really positive feedback from those who attended, which is great news for me, as I’ll be expanding the workshop to offer on an ongoing basis in the new year (watch this space!).
All-in-all, I had an amazing week. The only real let down was the noticeable lack of promotion from both the Tate and the University of Liverpool. Both the Garstang Museum and I put a lot out on social media, but the Tate didn’t put anything out themselves, choosing to just retweet a few tweets from other people instead. There was nothing on their Instagram account until the penultimate day. The official accounts for the university were disappointingly quiet on the whole thing. The feedback from visitors was really fantastic, though. With better publicity, it could’ve been a huge week for us all.
But, I don’t want to finish on a downer; it was just fantastic to see my photos up on the wall of the Tate Liverpool, and the staff and volunteers at the Garstang and the Egyptology department at the university put in a lot of hard work and made my photos look amazing (again!). For that, and for putting me in the situation where I can now say I’ve been exhibited at the Tate, I’m eternally grateful.
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