My name is Rasika Navarange and over the past week I have had a work experience placement helping with the ITP.
I am the niece of a 2011 ITP participant Manisha Nene (Assistant Director of the Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj Vastu Sangrahalaya in Mumbai); as you may know she proposed the exhibition “From Temple to Home: Celebrating Ganesha” in Room 3 which since then, has been on tour.
On my first day, I was introduced to all the lovely, hard-working people in the department and treated to Kit Kats and biscuits which appear to be a staple in this office! I was soon given some work to do: I was given the task of finding suitable photographs of last years’ ITP to put on the Clore Display so that people can see the great success of this programme. I also met Nourah and Nelson, two of the ITP alumni who had returned to London. Interviews of them were filmed in which they could speak about their experiences with the ITP and how it has impacted their lives and careers, in order to encourage donations by showing what a brilliant programme the ITP is. I helped out a little with the filming as you can see in this picture of me!
Another one of my main tasks was to prepare and pack “Welcome Gift Bags” containing useful maps, booklets and other information for this years’ ITP participants, in order to ease their visit to the UK. It contains a “Handy Guide”, which is particularly useful for those coming to London and the UK for the first time, for which I helped to develop some of the content, to format it and print it (a task that was surprisingly difficult and fully utilised my IT skills). This left the unexpectedly enjoyable task of binding the booklets together using a binding machine. I hope those of you reading who might be attending this year find the guide and the welcome bags useful and informative!
A particularly interesting part of my work experience was attending the “Annual Review” where I had to opportunity to see the great things the British Museum has accomplished over the past year such as the very recent “Defining Beauty: The Body in Ancient Greek Art”, “Ming: 50 Years that Changed China” exhibitions and even the ITP, which is having its 10th anniversary, got a mention!
On my final day, I got the chance to meet with Chief Photographer at the British Museum, John Williams. Given my interest, with a Silver Arts Award in photography, I was fascinated by all the expensive equipment used to create high-quality images of objects for the Museum. It is a highly specialist and thorough process which was quite interesting for me to gain an insight into. It has definitely inspired me to pursue my hobby further, perhaps even as a career!
Unfortunately, this placement is only for a week and writing this blog post was my final task on my last day. However, next week I have another 1-week work experience placement at the British Museum in the Greece and Rome department which I am very much looking forward to. I have been told that I am likely to be spending some time photographing objects for the Online Catalogue where I might be able to put some of my newly found knowledge of photography into practice!
I would like to thank everyone in the department for their help and for offering me this placement. It has been a truly valuable experience and I hope that I have been of some use in return.