Mannequins on the move

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row of covered mannequins strapped inside a van in a standing position, with their shoes showing from under the sheet

This photograph may look like a scene from a horror movie but it’s actually just part of a fairly normal day’s work for driver and handling technician Andrew Mountfield. He captured the scene when the former Inspiration display at the Walker’s Craft and Design gallery was taken down and the new display of 1950s evening dresses was installed. I’ll let him explain:


"After the decorative art curators had taken down the old display, we turned up to transport the bodies (sorry mannequins!) from the Walker Art Gallery to their final resting place at the Decorative Arts department.

Dave Moffat, assistant curator of decorative art, was the technical adviser for the day, with myself and Richard Roberts on the Transport and Handling team’s van. As you might imagine the restraint techniques involved in securing the multi positioned mannequins proved problematic to say the least, but luckily I was able to draw upon my years of experience in shifting bodies... (just kidding!).

The mannequins were actually from France, apart from the heads, which were sourced from the UK, and they were dressed in clothes by designers from around the world, which made the whole thing even more cosmopolitan and surreal than it was macabre!!

After everyone (sorry, the mannequins) were secure in the back of the van, and a final check of straps and protective coverings were in place we bid a momentary yet fond farewell to Dec Arts and left the Walker, happy and smiling.

As Richard and I drove along Dale Street, we both heard some scraping noises from the back and then some banging, followed by voices screaming 'Let Me Out, Let Me Out!' from the back of the van. We glanced at each other but we were both too scared to stop, after all, it is Halloween next week..."