This week the team were invited to present at the Museums Association "Bright Ideas" lighting conference at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester. This one-day event was a great chance for us to hear some of the latest trends and innovations in museum lighting and hear how colleagues in the sector have been using lighting in their exhibitions.
In the afternoon, delegates heard Designer Harriet Whitehead talk about how Core used natural and artificial light in the design of Bolton’s Egypt at Bolton Museum. This month marks a year since the galleries first opened to critical acclaim in 2018, since then receiving over 250 thousand visitors and shortlisting for the Museums + Heritage and Kids in Museums awards!
Harriet shared with delegates how we considered the use of light from the very start of the project, harnessing natural light from the museum’s beautifully restored 1930s architecture, while embracing the lower light levels in fully internal spaces to display sensitive objects from the museum’s collection.
Taking the spaces as our starting point, Harriet explained how we mapped stories and objects to areas of natural light and gloom according to their part in the story of Ancient Egyptian life, death and afterlife. In this way, light and darkness play an active role in the interpretation, creating mood and atmosphere and so enhancing the experience for visitors.
Harriet also talked about some of the techniques and technologies we used to light the spaces, and how these methods were selected to maximize efficiency, sustainability and overall cost-effectiveness for the client.
We really enjoyed sharing our experience of Bolton’s Egypt and hearing how others have used lighting in very different exhibition environments. The team are sure to take away some illuminating insights on lighting for future projects!