Mansfield Museum is in the heart of Mansfield Market town centre and contains a mix of permanent displays of local art and artefacts. With over four different exhibition rooms, families have a lot to explore. The ‘Made in Mansfield’ exhibition starts at the museum entrance and tells the town’s industrial history story. The hands-on XplorActive children’s environment gallery offers educational fun and game. Home: Zero was situated in the middle of the building in one of their temporary exhibition gallery spaces.
The HOME: Zero residency provided the opportunity for us to talk to the public about their experience of engaging with our immersive installation and to gather data to support us better understand how immersive interactive performances can help children and families think about sustainable solutions in their homes. It was a busy ten days! We had visits from several schools, home schoolers and families. In total, 307 people participated in our HOME: Zero experience, 173 were adults, and 243 were children.
Overall, it was wonderful to have such an extended research residency in a public space, experience people’s reactions to the work first-hand, and to find so many willing participants who were happy to talk to us. We had short conversations with children and adults about their experience of the performance and their role in creating a sustainable future. We found the public appreciated how the National Galley paintings are used to bring attention to current sustainability issues.
On the first Tuesday, we had a full house, 58 schoolchildren from Woodthorpe Infants School (Key Stage 1). It was their first visit to this museum and the children spent the day exploring the space and experienced HOME: Zero in small groups. Talking to them after their experience, they enjoyed the interactive nature of the installation and were enthusiastic about making and drawing their pledges for a greener planet. Children’s favourite things about their experience varied from the physical interaction to looking at the paintings and making their canvas.
In the next few weeks, we will analyse the data we collected and hope to continue the research with the participating families about how and if the experience continues to impact their lives.Tags: immersive installation, Mansfield Museum, National Gallery, sustainability