Sorcha’s Reflection on Artes Mundi 7 Trip

Part B: Explore the arts as an audience member

On a recent visit to Cardiff Museum, there were two exhibits in particular that I found interesting so these are the exhibits I will be talking about in this post. These are Artes Mundi and the ‘worm exhibit’.

The audiences for these are completely different. The ‘worm exhibit’ takes a more child-like stance – as one might be able to tell from the subject of the exhibit itself being worms, whereas Artes Mundi comes across as more minimalistic with its white walls and spacious design. Having said this, Artes does have a ‘children’s section’ wherein children are guided through drawing and colouring on the floor. This is something both exhibits have in common (the ‘worm exhibit’ and Artes’s children’s section), everything is on ‘kid-level’ in the sense that nothing is up really high, but is eye level for children. Within the Artes exhibit itself, there is an element of child-like entertainment. This is through the project by Bedwyr Williams which is a 20 minute video on a loop, where you sit on beanbags and pillows; a project which has a whole room to itself. This is a method also used in a reading section in the ‘worm exhibit’.

Additionally, in the children’s section of Artes Mundi, children and adults alike, have access to tables which display the Artes Mundi’s own app. This app however, leaves much to be desired in that it is in some senses, not relevant to the Artes project and is confusing to use.

The messages that these exhibits are trying to convey presents another point of contrast. The very title of the ‘worm exhibit’ shows exactly what the exhibit is about: worms and everything about them. In contrast to this, the Artes Mundi project with its minimalistic theme, also seems to extend to any information to the public. The app and also the handbook that are available give little information about the exhibit as a whole is about: migration. This I must admit, once someone tells you that this is the message of the Artes project, it becomes quite clear! Perhaps the whole idea of the exhibit is for us to make our own interpretations and leave the message to us, that in discussing it, we can better understand it. Something which the app and handbook can feed into; giving us background information about the artists for example.

In all, the two exhibits are completely different to each other due to their target audiences and their key messages but each have aspects which cater to everyone.