Dr Sarah Plumb

Research Development Fellow / Research Associate

+44 (0) 116 252 3757

sp627@le.ac.uk

Responsibilities

I joined the School of Museum Studies in October 2013 as a PhD Researcher, and as a Research Assistant for RCMG in 2014, supporting The Cultural Value of Engaging with Museums and Galleries project as part of the Arts and Humanities Research Council’s Cultural Value project. In 2014 I supported RCMG on the Talking Statues project and the Exceptional & Extraordinary project in 2016.

In 2016 I started working as a Research Associate (maternity cover) for RCMG and more recently (2017) became a core member of the team.

I am fortunate to work collaboratively, and as part of a research team I have greatly benefitted from working with a range of academics, researchers and professionals from the sector and beyond. The many diverse projects that RCMG are involved in continue to challenge me, and enable me to think critically and engage in current debates surrounding the social roles that museums and galleries can play.

My work varies considerably from project to project. I contribute to the planning processes of research projects that enable cultural organisations to become more ambitious and impactful in nurturing more equitable and inclusive societies. This includes the design of methodology and consideration of the ethical issues that may arise from research. As part of a team I undertake fieldwork and data collection, using a range of quantitative and qualitative methods, and collaboratively analyse and interpret data, preparing materials to test emerging findings with project teams. I am involved in the writing-up of research publications for a range of audiences, from academics to museum practitioners, and disseminate research in a variety of publications and reports, as well as through presenting at conferences. I have developed both team-based and individual material for the MA in Socially Engaged Practice, the Winter School and for PhD students in the form of live seminars, workshops and lectures, and have presented research to professionals to inform and enrich practice. I am also Books and Exhibitions Review Editor for the independent peer reviewed online journal museum & society and a regular contributor to the journal Terraform.

Honours, Awards, and Prizes

Arts and Humanities Research Council - PhD Studentship Award

University of Leicester - Teaching Partnership Award

Research interests

The research undertaken for my PhD (2013-2017) explored socially engaged arts practice and its relationship to art galleries as institutions of mediation. Interested in the dynamic and changing relationships between the art, artist, curator, educator and community, the research aimed to present the potential social effects of this dialogue. Working with the case study Kettle’s Yard and their community engagement programme Open House, the research considered notions of participation and collaboration borne out of socially engaged arts practice mediated through the gallery, with a particular focus on community participants' experiences, and the arising ethical implications of such works. My PhD was funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council and my supervisors were Prof Richard Sandell and Dr Sheila Watson.

Career history

Prior to joining the School of Museum Studies, I worked in museums, galleries and art centres for twelve years as an educator. I led high quality learning programmes, using professionalism and flexibility, at Modern Art Oxford, Compton Verney and the Midlands Art Centre (MAC). Preceding this I worked as a freelance artist educator with Creative Partnerships and The New Art Gallery, Walsall. I have shared examples of innovative practice and experimental learning methodologies, and supported colleagues as a council member and area representative for Engage (the National Association for Gallery Education). I have also worked as an Associate Lecturer in Art History and Curating at Manchester School of Art, Manchester Metropolitan University.

Publications

Journal articles

Plumb, S. (forthcoming) 'The roles and responsibilities of galleries in critiquing contemporary political situations and imagining alternative futures' in Contemporary Art Journal, South Korea

Plumb, S. (2017) 'Blurring Distinctions: Anthony Luvera's Residency' in Terraform, Slade School of Fine Art MA Journal

Plumb, S. (2016) '"We’re all travelling the same route, but it’s a different journey for everybody" Open House: Art and Engagement in North Cambridge' in engage Journal 37 Time and Space, Engage

Plumb, S. (2015) Editor-in-Chief. Museological Review Issue 19, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Plumb, S. (2014) 'Art Turning Left: Tate Liverpool Exhibition Review' in Museological Review Issue 18, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester

Plumb, S. (2013) 'Partnership Working in a Modern and Contemporary Art Gallery' in AD Magazine, NSEAD

Plumb, S. (2012) 'Neutral Territory: The Gallery, a Site for Artists, Young People and Older People with Dementia to Collaborate' in engage Journal 30 Arts and Healthcare, Engage

Book Chapters

Dodd, J. and Plumb, S. (2018) 'Whose voice do we hear?', in Sandell, R., Lennon, R. and Smith, M. (eds) Prejudice and Pride: LGBTQ heritage and its contemporary implications, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG): pp76-81

Toolkits

Plumb, S. (2018) 'Shared Ownership, Shared Guardianship', plus further contributions to The Conditions for Creative Communities, Open House, Kettle's Yard

Research Reports

Dodd, J., Plumb, S., Bergevin, J. and Sandell, R. (2018) Prejudice and Pride: An analysis of visitor engagement and response, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG) and National Trust

Dodd, J., Jones, C., Plumb, S., McGhie, H. and Blazejewski, L. (2018) Unexpected Encounters: How museums nurture living and ageing well, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

MacLeod, S., Dodd, J. and Plumb, S. (2018) Isolation and loneliness: Opening up new interpretive experiences at Calke Abbey, Research Centre for Museums and Galleries (RCMG)

Plumb, S. (2009) 'Explore Project Case Study at Compton Verney' in Explore Handbook: Improving Access to Galleries for Disabled and Deaf People, Engage

PhD Thesis

Plumb, S. (2017) How might the experiences and perspectives of community participants collaborating in socially engaged art practices be heard, considered and equally valued alongside those of the artist and gallery? What ethical implications for the artist and the gallery arise when community participants’ experiences are considered in this way?, University of Leicester

Conference papers and workshops

'Unexpected encounters in museums: older people, nature and natural heritage collections' Presentation at Health, Wellbeing and the Environment Conference, Liverpool (2019)

'"They liked to be cut off and lonely"’: Questions of Isolation and Loneliness in Historical and Contemporary Readings of Calke Abbey' Co-presented with Rebecca Harvey, National Trust at Reading the Country House Conference, Manchester (2018)

'Diversifying audiences through a "Trading Zones" approach' Workshop at Diversify your audience!, Museumsakademie Joanneum Graz, Berlin (2018)

'Stimulating Conversations: audiences and LGBTQ heritage' Co-presented with Jocelyn Dodd, at Prejudice, Pride, Place Conference, Birmingham (2018)

'Open House: Working Together to Co-Curate and Co-Create in North Cambridge' Co-presented with Karen Thomas, Kettle's Yard at Universeum Conference - Working Together: Partnerships, Co-creation and Co-curation, Glasgow (2018)

‘The role of museums in nurturing more equitable and inclusive societies’ Presentation at Museums as Agents of Change: Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, Benaki Museum, Athens and Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2017)

‘Creating a space where all voices can be heard’ Workshop at Museums as Agents of Change: Diversity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, Benaki Museum, Athens and Macedonian Museum of Contemporary Art, Thessaloniki (2017)

'Open House: A Researcher's Perspective' Presentation at Friday Lectures, Leamington Spa Museum and Art Gallery (2017)

'Open House: Conversations with Collaborators' Presentation at Conditions for Creative Communities. With Kettle's Yard, Tate Exchange (2017)

'Taking Bearings' Workshop at Conditions for Creative Communities. With Kettle's Yard, Tate Exchange (2017)

Table Host and Facilitator at What is the role of participatory artists today? With Trinity Laban Conservatoire of Music and Dance, Tate Exchange (2017)

'Open House: Art and Engagement in North Cambridge' Presentation at SHARE Museums East Conference, Newmarket (2016)

'Open House: Collaborative Conversations' Breakout Session co-facilitated with Karen Thomas at SHARE Museums East Conference, Newmarket (2016)

'Visual Mapping Exercise: Open House' at engage East Area Meeting, Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts, Norwich (2016)

'Sacred Cows - Questioning and interrogating museum 'truths' (Does participation truly bring about empowerment?)' Workshop co-facilitated with Dr Sheila Watson, Dr Lisanne Gibson, Laura Crossley and Sipei Lu at Museums in the Global Contemporary, Leicester (2016)

'Freee Art Collective, Inaugural Performance – Citizen Ship' co-facilitated with Dave Beech, Mel Jordan, Andrew Hewitt, Gee Sun Hahn, Wen-Ling Lin, Sipei Lu and Mercy Trent at Museums in the Global Contemporary, Leicester (2016)

'Arts and Health Afternoon: Lost in Time and Space, a case study' at engage West Midlands Area Meeting, The Barber Institute, Birmingham (2015)

'An Education Turn Workshop' at Danish Research Network in Curatorial Studies: Participatory Practices and Strategies, Leicester (2015)

'A mind-mapping exercise using the "Most Significant Change" technique to explore approaches to measuring social impact' Breakout Session at Museum Association Moving on Up Event, Leicester (2015)

'The impact on participants including children and young people working with art and artists' Session co-facilitated with Clare Halstead, chaired by Felicity Allen at engage Summer School, Cornwall (2014)

'Art and Health: The Ageing Demographic' Breakout Session co-facilitated with Dr Victoria Tischler at engage International Conference, Birmingham (2013)

'Connections and Collaborations: The Lost in Time and Space Project' co-presented with Maria Parsons at European Alzheimer's Conference, Vienna (2012)

'Connections and Collaborations: The Lost in Time and Space Project' co-presented with Maria Parsons, Rhiannon Nowakowska (project participant) and Emily Raven-Baker (project participant) at National Arts and Dementia Conference, London (2012)

'A Neutral Territory: The Lost in Time and Space Project' co-presented with Laura Sayers (project participant) at Oxfordshire Intergenerational Conference, Oxford (2012)

Exhibitions and Residencies

Here and Now - film piece, part of 100 Stories of Migration exhibition, co-created with Sipei Lu, Wen-Ling Lin, Duncan McCauley and Professor Richard Sandell exhibited as part of Southbank's Festival of Changing Britain, Adopting Britain: 70 Years of Migration exhibition, Royal Festival Hall, London (2015)

100 Stories of Migration - touring to University of Greenwich Galleries, London (2015)

100 Stories of Migration - photographic and media exhibition exploring how migration affects us all in partnership with the Migration Museum Project, co-curated with Yon-Jai Kim, Wen-Ling Lin, Sipei Lu, Ryan Nutting, Mercy Trent and Professor Richard Sandell, School of Museum Studies, University of Leicester (2014 - 2015)

Platform - Graduate Artists from the South East, co-curated with Emily Korchmaros and Paul Luckraft, in partnership with CVAN SE, MK Gallery, Turner Contemporary and Aspex, Modern Art Oxford (2013)

Stephanie Douet: Real / Non-Real - Residency, Modern Art Oxford (2013)

Zsuzsanna Nyul: Visible-Invisible - Residency, Modern Art Oxford (2013)

Rolf Julius - co-curated with Stephen Cornford as part of the Audiograft Festival, Modern Art Oxford (2013)

Julian Wild: Making the Connection - co-curated with The China Shop Gallery, Modern Art Oxford (2012)

Platform - Graduate Artists from the South East, co-curated with Melanie Pocock, Emily Korchmaros and Sarah Mossop, in partnership with CVAN SE, MK Gallery, Turner Contemporary and Aspex, Modern Art Oxford (2012)

Lost in Time and Space - collaborative project exhibition co-curated with Jon Lockhart, Nicola Armitage, Emma Titcombe, Samina Baig and project participants, Modern Art Oxford (2012)

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