People of the Strand: Alice and Kimberley at Two Temple Place
Like many people, I have been enjoying the virtual offerings of museums and galleries during lockdown.
For this post, I’m grateful to Two Temple Place for letting Strandlines share excerpts from their blog ‘Voices from Two Temple Place’. I can’t recommend the blog enough, and applaud the blog’s mission to be an ‘inclusive online platform dedicated to showcasing the many perspectives of the people that contribute to the Bulldog Trust’s Winter Exhibition Programme’.
Highlights include a video tour with commentary from the Assistant Curator Lotte Crawford and a photographic tour of the fascinating objects featured in the 2020 exhibition Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles. However, I’ve most enjoyed reading about some of the brilliant people who make it all happen behind the scenes and front of house. It is wonderful to celebrate their stories despite all the disappointment of the exhibition being cut short.
Certainly, of the many things I’ve re-evaluated during lockdown, I’ve decided it’s definitely the people of the Strand – friends, colleagues, the baristas and shop workers you get to know, buskers, and faces passing in the crowds dashing who knows where – that I miss the most. I’m even missing getting stuck behind tourists, with their habits of languid strolling and suddenly stopping in their tracks to take photographs. Many times it’s by seeing the Strand through their eyes that I notice something I’d walked passed a thousand times without a thought.
Below are excerpts of two ‘Voices from Two Temple Place’ posts, and I encourage you to explore further!
Fran – Strandlines Assistant Editor
Meet Alice, Duty Manager
Posted on ‘Voices from Two Temple Place’ 24 April 2020
Alice started at Two Temple Place as one of our Duty Managers for this year’s exhibition Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles. Alice was one of two Duty Mangers employed to help with the day to day running of our exhibition alongside our two internships and the exhibitions team.
“The first time I entered Two Temple Place it was Christmas time. The Christmas tree was standing tall in the magnificent entry hall and I remember thinking to myself just how lucky I was to be able to work in such beautiful surroundings. All the rooms at this point though were empty, just lengths of wooden flooring unobstructed by anything and I was curious to see how the space would be changed into an exhibition. When I next came to Two Temple Place and saw the exhibition in all its glory I was astounded by the transformation.
Textiles are not something I had ever really considered in any great detail despite the fact we all live our lives in them. Yet this exhibition managed to take a previously uncontemplated subject matter, introduced inspirational women I had never heard of and created this wonderful display which interested and inspired me – overall an astounding feat.
The amount of space available at Two Temple Place means there is a limit to how much can be displayed, the entire history of textiles could not be presented, nor the complete histories of the women collectors but what this exhibition managed to achieve so well was presenting the public with just enough information to capture ones attention.”
Meet Kimberley, Duty Manager
Posted on ‘Voices from Two Temple Place’ 15 May 2020
As well as being one of the Duty Managers working with on the Unbound: Visionary Women Collecting Textiles exhibition, Kimberley is an artist and maker, and works a lot with textiles.
“My time spent working at 2 Temple Place has been one that has allowed me to learn new things and meet wonderful new people. The aspects of the exhibition that resonated with me was how women have been so involved in the exhibition curation process through different stages in history – not just in the making – and how a passion for collection can start so early on in life.
I was really drawn to the works in the Great Hall. I think that it is a great portrayal of just how much textile has transformed over the years and how it’s still used and valued up until the present day. That it isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. That so many parts of the world use it as a form of communication, and that it is one of the ways that connects us all – its just the outcome and the interpretation that differs from culture to culture and taste to taste.
One aspect that was new to me was learning about Barron and Larcher’s process of using everyday objects to create block print, from old car tires to rusty nails. I am fond of the timelessness of their pieces as it is very much something that can still be used as a process, whilst still creating unique results.
My time spent duty managing has allowed me to meet and engage with individuals that I would not have met otherwise. There were always compliments on the intricacy and detail put into the chosen works on display. And if textile wasn’t a someone’s cup of tea – then that is when the admiration for the building would be mentioned.”
Fran Allfrey is Assistant Editor of Strandlines. She has been walking and cycling the Strand for over a decade looking for the best places to eat, lamp-posts to chain a bike to, and patches of greenery.