LD: Hi Kate, welcome to the AUB. As we advertised the MoDiP PhD bursary on our blog I thought our readers would be interested in who took up the challenge and what they plan to do with the opportunity. Can you tell us what attracted you to this research project?
KH: The opportunity and challenge to try something different is always a draw for me. Given the unique collection at MoDiP, I was very keen to work with the museum in some way. Given the 'avant garde' approach that AUB has, this was not going to be an 'ordinary' journey. How could I resist? The outcome of the research should, I hope benefit the partners involved.
LD: So what is your background? And what is your subject area?
KH: A nurse, a teacher, a mother, I have also worked in the cultural sector for some years. I have a Masters Degree in Museum Studies which, added to my fascination with the story of people and objects has led me to writing around these areas. This research, combined with Creative Writing which is my art practice, will I hope, allow me to present a unique perspective on the Plastic Chair, the object of my research desire.
LD: You have been a PhD student for a few months now, what are your initial plans and how are you going to be using the collection?
KH: After much literature searching and consideration of the areas of study already well documented in Plastics, I am focusing my research on 'The Plastic Chair', several examples of which already exist in the MoDiP collection. It is an object so urbane but which has also achieved iconic status in the arenas of art and design. I plan to use Creative Writing as my art practice, an approach still in its infancy in the realms of art research. Who knows what stories and poetry will emerge.
LD: That sounds exciting, are you enjoying being a PhD student?
KH: Oh yes! Very demanding but very exciting and the challenge is something that I relish. Frustrating too as I want to move faster than I realistically can. Being very impatient and impetuous, I am having to develop a 'modicum' of discipline. I have Professor Stephanie James and Susan Lambert as my poor suffering supervisors bringing to the partnership considerable experience and expertise. They are certainly challenging me already so I sense that I will have to work hard and consistently to meet their high standards.
LD: Is there somewhere we can follow your progress?
KH: I have just started my own website and blog @ anothergreenfool.com which is principally my writing vehicle but which I will be developing more around Plastics as the research grows. I also use Twitter @KTHall1.
Louise Dennis (Assistant Curator)