Country of residence
PhD student (unsettling Naken chaetrie in Scottish museums)
I am a museum professional, with a background in learning and access within museum settings. It was while working at the Highland Folk Museum (2004-2008) that I became aware of the collection of Gypsy/Traveller artefacts that are in the collection there. During my time at the museum I developed a number of projects in partnership with The Highland Council’s Gypsy/Traveller Development Officer, which engaged young Gypsy/Travellers with objects related to their cultural heritage, and supported them to develop an exhibition at the museum. I am now carrying out a PhD at the University of Stirling, on unsettling Naken chaetrie (the material culture of Gypsy/Travellers) in Scottish museums. This research is heavily reliant on partnership working with Gypsy/Traveller groups and individuals from across Scotland, and aims to uncover the hidden connections between museums and Gypsy/Traveller communities (the connections that are emerging are vast and varied, and not only include the presence of cultural artefacts, but also objects collected by Gypsy/Traveller fieldworkers, objects purchased from Gypsy/Travellers trading in second hand and antique goods, and objects commissioned by the museum). The research, however, does not only look to the past, but also to the present and future, consulting with Gypsy/Traveller groups on how best to represent the culture within museum settings, and how these artefacts should be displayed, interpreted, stored and owned in the future.