• Museum of Fire Heritage Team

Creating an Art Exhibition - Museum of Fire 2020 Art Competition

The Museum's newest exhibition

The Museum recently opened our newest exhibition, an art gallery space featuring 30 artworks by children from across Australia.

If you have visited the Museum before then you will be aware of how much has changed to create this new gallery space.

For the Museum’s curatorial team, the possibility of changing and adapting the Museum’s aging displays was met with excitement. Despite being a mammoth task that brought with it many challenges the team decided to tackle to the project head on and everyone was pleased with the outcome.

But how do you take an aging display and create a modern gallery space?

Firstly, you need a dedicated team who won’t take failure as an option and a devoted group of volunteers to help turn the team’s vision into reality.

The original display that has now been replaced

The space chosen to house the new gallery space was the hallway at the front of the Museum. Until recently this hallway featured information about the causes of fire and whilst this is important information the Museum’s team felt that there were better ways to display this material.

With the team focusing on having the art gallery space ready for summer, this new display on fire has not yet been installed but keep following the Museum on social media and you will see when our new exhibit opens.

Once the team had selected the site for the art gallery the Museum’s volunteers were set to work stripping the existing displays. The displays had been in place for so long that no one knew what was on the wall underneath, so everyone held their breath as the displays came down. Luckily for the most part the walls were in good condition however in one instance our volunteers did have to create a false wall to ensure the stability and use of the space.

Up next were several coats of paint followed by the difficult decision of what shade of white/grey to paint the walls!

The Museum’s curatorial team then worked with a local sign printer to create the text that would adorn the entry to the gallery space.

Painting the new gallery space

Before the team had even conceived the gallery space the Museum had begun hosting the 2020 Art Competition. As we were unsure of the number of entries we would receive we had no specific plan in mind but as the entries continued to come in the art gallery space began to take shape. Entries closed on the 30 November 2020 and on Friday 27 November we had around 50 entries. By close of business on Monday 30 November this number had doubled causing the Museum’s team to work overtime to process all of the entries.

We have been blown away by the caliber of the work produced by student’s across Australia so when it came time for the Museum’s curatorial team to pick just 30 entries out of over 100 it was a difficult task. To help select the 30 finalists our team focused upon the works that met the criteria of the competition bets – bushfires and paying tribute to our brave firefighters who battled the 2019-2020 bushfires.