@MarDixon

Passionate about culture internationally. Run remixing events, workshops, create solutions, and an international speaker. Over sharer and Mom who loses arguments to a teen. Projects created: @CultureThemes @lovetheatreday @AskaCurator @MuseumSelfieDay @TeensInMuseums @52museums
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    August 8th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Versailles and Musee de’ Cluny 

    We started off early as our first stop was to Versailles.  However we made a stop on the way at Javel, where we walked over the bridge to take pictures of the Statute of Liberty as we have a very fond attachment to the monument, even more-so now after yesterday’s discussion on the topic at Musse des et Metire.  I do feel that its unplanned stops along the way that really make a holiday personal.

     

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    August 8th, 2011mardixonCulture, International

    Musee d’Orsay & Muse des arts et metiers

    Today we started off early to get to the Louve before attending an appointment at musee des de metires.  The weather was shining brightly on us and we managed to take lots of gorgeous, typical tourist photos of both the external Louve and the Jardin des Tuileries.  Then we went to queue for the Louve … except it was closed.  Our initial disappointment and annoyance at not checking on that prior to leaving was soon squashed with the decision to go to Musee d’Orsay.  And we were very pleased we did.

     

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    July 31st, 2011mardixonCulture

    Don’t let the title fool you, this was another fascinating event coordinated by Shane Kelleher, Archaeologist Management Officer for Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust as part of the UK wide Festival of British Archaelogy (@festivalofArch ) which was one theme this month for @CultureThemes.

    The exploration of the Old Furnace, which is located in Coalbrookdale started with a short presentation which is where I learned:

    • The Old Furnace (as opposed to the new one that Abraham Darby built) was built in 1658.  Interesting, it has the date 1638 on the beam but this is believed to have been an error done in the renovations of the 1950s.  From 1638 to 1708, the Old Furnace was leased to various people.
    • Abraham Darby leased the furnace in 1708 where he first smelted coke.
    • This is probably THE most important industrial monument in the world.

     

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    July 30th, 2011mardixonCulture

    Please take this very short and quick survey to help us evaluate the impact of social media within the Cultural Sector.

    Social Media in the Culture Sector:   http://t.co/iTJkFtU 

    Please note:

    • This survey is being run by Mar Dixon (@MarDixon) to be shared with everyone.
    • All data recorded will be kept anonymous, however, some data might be shared (such as quotes, etc).
    Thank you!
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    July 23rd, 2011mardixonCulture

    Ever wanted to try rock climbing? Maybe see what it was like to have a go at archery?  Or wonder what it was like to wear a mask and fence?  Charlotte and I were able to do all that and more this weekend at Ironbridge Gorge Museums Science, Sport, Life Festival at Coalbrookdale Museum of Iron and ALL for free.  

    The first activity Charlotte tried was rock climbing. She wasn’t too sure about this at first, but soon got the hang of it and was reaching the top of the fabulous portable rock climbing wall provided by Wolf Mountain. 


    We then went inside Enguinity’s lecture hall to listen to an inspiring talk by Anna Turney, Paralympian Alpine Ski Racer.  She described her courageous career change from able-bodied snowboarder to Paralympic skier after being paralysed while snowboarding.  She is a true inspiration not just to athletes but to everyone.

     

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    July 21st, 2011mardixonCulture

    About a week ago, Natural History Museum (London) emailed to let me know they were going to be asking people on Twitter to come to the museum for a ‘special’ mission.

    Immediately intrigued, I waited for more information.  I didn’t have long as I soon found out they were asking people who love the museum to come in on July 20th to be filmed.  But that’s all that was said.  Sadly, getting to London is not an easy task so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to go but, luckily, it was offered that I could film Charlotte and I, then send it into them.

    However, when I told Michael about the event, he purchased train tickets for me to go as he knows how passionate I am about NHM.  [Charlotte is going to film a separate bit to be added.]

    Natural History MuseumSo on July 20h, I arrived in London in time to meet with the other Tweeters who responded to the Museum’s quest for volunteers.  We were given a bit more information – but not much.  On arrival, we were taken to the gorgeous CentralHall, where a camera crew were set up near Dippy the Diplodocus (@NHM_Dippy).  We were asked to make a sign (which I spent *way* too much time on creating..) then each of us were filmed saying why we loved Dippy and our memories of the museum.  I babbled on and actually had to say it all again as my enthusiasm was a bit hurried for them.  If allowed, I probably could have spoken for an hour on my love of the museum.  I did mention something about wanting to marry it if allowed.

                          

    When we were done, I still had another hour or so to look around before the museum closed.  I immediately headed over to the Attenborough Studios and watched two very brilliant films.

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    July 17th, 2011mardixonCulture

    As part of the two-week Festival of Archaeology, Charlotte and I (along with friends Vivi and her daughter Roberta) took part in a local (and free!) Day of Archaeology at Coalbrookdale in Ironbridge.

    We were surveying a Quaker Burial Ground which is in the care of the Ironbridge Gorge Museum Trust.The event started with a short introductory talk not just on the site but the history behind the site. Our Project Manager of the day was Shane Kelleher, Archaeologist Management Officer for Ironbridge Gorge museum. Shane was very conscious of ensuring we knew the background on the Quaker Burial Grounds that we were going to be working on without lecturing us. He also explained the methodologies and techniques that we were going to use to record the Quaker Burial Ground (and also about health and safety and risk assessment). Along with Shane, special guest John Stimpson, who’s own family had connection with the burial ground was able to give us a personal history to the site.

    The talk

    Filled with the newfound knowledge of the Burial site, and a new respect for Quakers, we walked to the site. Although it rained all morning, it was then determined to be safe enough for us to split into two groups of seven and work on the site.

    Shane re-explained our objectives for the day (Group A on the Left, Group B on the Right)

    • Take data on the site as a whole (measuring)

    • Fill in the blank burial plan numbering each gravestone (L1 for Left one or R1 for Right One)

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    July 14th, 2011mardixonCulture

    The Damien Hirst exhibition is another wonderful creation made available with the help of the Artist Room.*

    The curator’s event I was invited to allowed the group to view the Damien Hirst exhibition before it opens. Having the curator describe the pieces and the ethos behind the collection was extremely beneficial.

    The Artist Room collection consisted of only five pieces. However, the exhibition spans over three rooms as Damien Hirst, not involved with Artist Rooms, agreed to contribute for this exhibition. (Damien, while born in Bristol was schooled and trained in Leeds. ) This is the first time an artist exhibited in a public art gallery, got personally involved. The first challenge was working with everyone involved to make it work.

    Leeds Art Gallery

    Both curators, Nigel Walsh and Sarah Brown shared their feelings and thoughts about the exhibition while allowing us to form our own opinions along the way.  The first room we were invited to was probably the most controversial. I have never seen a Damien piece ‘in real life’ and have tried my best to not let others opinions affect mine.

    When I first walked into the room, my eyes were immediately drawn, not to the infamous sheep in formaldehyde, but to the marble statue which I only briefly saw from the back and looked completely out of place in this exhibition.

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    July 9th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    The Wenlock Olympian Society hosted their 125th games on the gorgeous new fields at William Penny Brooke school**.  As a member of the Society, I volunteer to help Paul Hutchinson document (film) the days events.  Paul owns the very successful Virtual Shropshire and is the official video-grapher for the games.

    As part of the day, we interviewed as many people as we could from Event organisers, President of the Society, car park detail, program sellers and everyone in between.  It was a fascinating day to get to listen to the stories that every volunteer had to share. 

    A few weeks ago, we were told there was a special guest attending  – Jeremy Hunt, the Secretary of State for the Department of Culture, Olympics, Media and Sport who would be escorted by our Local MP Phillip Dunne.  It was already agreed that the Society would have dedicated interview time with him and that Helen, the Society Press Secretary, would interview him first, and I would interview him after. 

    Then the News of the World scandal hit this week which related to BSkyB.  Up until his arrival, we were unsure of how the events of the days would be – would he still arrive? Would we be granted an interview? If yes, would we be limited in what was asked?

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    July 7th, 2011mardixonLiteracy

    This week, Johanna Anderson put out a tweet asking if anyone wanted to join them in Birmingham for a court hearing regarding libraries.  As it happened, I was able to arrange my schedule to be able to attend.  To be completely honest, I wasn’t exactly sure what the hearing was about, but felt as it was virtually on my door step, I should show my support, if nothing else by just being there (which is essentially all I did).

    These articles tell the story:

    The BookSeller 

    Gloucestershire

    If you prefer the Twitter version:

    @MarDixon #savelibraries They secured judicial review AND no libraries will close – woot! Well done @Jo_Bo_Anderson & team for all the hard work.

     

    Meeting Johanna, Nancy Graham and Demelza was the icing on the top.  These stanch library advocates feed of each others energy throughout the day (as did I!).  The court hearing itself would have been much more intimidating had it not been for us knowing we weren’t alone. 

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