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COLOUR: Art Science and Power (2022-2023) is a conceptually adventurous interdisciplinary exhibition which draws from across the collections of nine University of Cambridge museums. Hosted by the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (MAA), the exhibition reveals how colours are created, experienced and given potency.


I was one of two curators who realised the exhibition. A key focus of my work was to produce a section which explores the relationship between colour and identity. Here I wanted the curatorial voice to take a back seat and instead to lead with insights gained from lived experience. Initial workshops suggested we concentrate on colour, gender and sexuality, and the deconstruction of the racialised use of black and white to categorise people.

The final set of displays combined museum artefacts and contemporary commissions, whilst interpretation was angled towards prompting visitors to reflect on their personal perspectives. Many of my collaborators were keen that the exhibition avoided too definitive a stance in its approach to identity, so I designed an interactive exhibit which would allow visitors to add their responses to the question, “what does colour mean to you?” A curated selection of responses to the interactive and reflections from external partners are featured on the Museum’s website and social media channels, thereby substantially expanding the representational breadth of the exhibition.

I think it’s important here to acknowledge the expertise of my co-producers and the help of the academic consultants I turned to for guidance. Furthermore, much of the success of the interactive was down to its beautiful and ingenious realisation by MAA’s workshop.

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