Installing objects in the exhibition, beneath a photo of Colonel Debbie Telford
It’s been a week since our Poppies: Women and War exhibition opened at the Museum of Liverpool. Every new exhibition we stage involves lots of preparation and in the weeks before we open it’s pretty chaotic for the team; agreeing final designs, getting all of the right objects and people in the right place at the right time and making all of the last minute arrangements. Fortunately we have an amazing team, who are all fabulous at what they do.
I have one of the best jobs, which is that I get to watch the reaction of the visitors as they see the exhibition for the first time and this week I have spoken to lots of people who have all had positive things to say.
See what people have been saying about the exhibition on social media on our responses page.
Working on an exhibition about conflict is always going to be both difficult and rewarding. Difficult because some of the stories have been harrowing (I don’t mind admitting that I have shed a few tears reading about the women featured). Rewarding, because we get to tell these stories to our visitors, through a visually stunning exhibition.
Tracy Dunn-Bridgeman in the Poppies exhibition
Like the poppies, which have been beautifully captured by the photographer Lee Karen Stow, the women featured are strong and resilient and have an incredible capacity for survival, sometimes in the harshest of circumstances. Two local women are featured: Tracy Dunn-Bridgeman and Colonel Debbie Telford have both amazed and inspired me with their courage and strength. They also showed amazing stamina and patience when we asked them to come in to the Museum of Liverpool last week and spend a whole morning talking to the press!
The exhibition might be complete, but the work still goes on. Our education team are still working on a programme of connected events – some have been agreed (see our Poppies events page for details) and some are still being finalised. For an exhibition with such strong emotional content, we hope to run some really challenging workshops and events over the next year.
The handling team putting the finishing touches to the Poppies exhibition before it opened to the public