The Caretakers

Monday 13 July - Saturday 18 July 2020  

The Caretakers

The Caretakers invites you inside 6 UK museums in the last month of lockdown. Your hosts are those who have been caring for the collections in our absence- security and buildings teams. They’ve spent time making audio recordings of themselves talking while alone during their shifts. Artist Eloise Moody has been working closely with them to create the audio and to shape it into the series which you can now hear.

“I knew that this project had all the ingredients to be good, but I couldn’t know it would be quite so special.  Through the eyes of these Caretakers, we are allowed a rare glimpse, not just into the closed museum spaces, and the quiet collections, but into the lives and reflections of the people who find themselves often the sole inhabitants of these usually thriving places.”

Each piece feels intimate and personal - a gift. You want to listen carefully because you might never get this chance again. What they say is beautiful and interesting and moving and funny. But you can also hear each person thinking, you can hear them sigh and you can hear them laugh as they share their thoughts with you while they go on their patrols, as they sit in chairs they’ve never tried before or as they find themselves in grand echoey rooms all alone.

Everything is about to change again- museums are getting ready to reopen. Thank you Marta, Alex, Steve, Ciara, John and Gum - our Caretakers – who let us in.

Day 1 : Marta from Museum of London

"I always stop for a few seconds in front of it. I can't take my eyes off it. I love it when I shine my torch and I can see it standing there... beautiful, huge. Every time I look at it, I'm tempted to touch it but it feels like touching it would cross the line."

Click on the keys to hear Marta

Day 2 : Alex from The Cutty Sark, Royal Museums Greenwich

"The boat to me is more than just a place of work. It's alive and that's not just when it's open to the public."

Click on the keys to hear Alex

Day 3 : Steve from Kettle's Yard

"It's the place that we're working in that makes us who we are. And it's certainly shaping me into... I think, a better person." 

Click on the keys to hear Steve

Day 4 : Ciara from Southend Museums

"I'll always wonder what he was like, aside from all the things he had. I always want to think that he was a nice person and that he was a kind person because he was in charge of a community of people but I suppose I'll never know really." 

Click on the keys to hear Ciara

Day 5 : John from Pitt Rivers Museum

"Since the Museum was founded in 1884, there have only been 5 head technicians, so I'm part of a pretty exclusive club, I think!" 

Click on the keys to hear John

Day 6 : Gum from Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery

"I always think they're kind of judging, or waiting and watching because there's so much that happens in this space and they're kind of our audience, as well as we are theirs." 

Click on the keys to hear Gum