Art in lockdown: Student curators take gallery online

Art in lockdown: Student curators take gallery online

Students have taken the reins for RMIT Gallery’s latest exhibition, curating an entirely online experience that explores creativity, inspiration and identity through a year of social isolation.

From music to online streaming, cooking, Zoom sessions, memes and art, the exhibition, Museum of Me, celebrates the creativity and cultural inspiration that has given people a sense of hope during a challenging year.

The exhibition is the first delivered for the gallery entirely by a team of RMIT Culture interns and features works from students across disciplines including fine art, design, environmental science and international studies.

Calling for submissions of photos, music, creative writing, drawings, soundscapes and videos, they worked on everything from design to curation, promotion and an accompanying digital publication.

A fascinating selection of creative works from the public domain that have provided inspiration or joy are also on display, including from RMIT’s own Design Archives, AFI research collection and art collection.

RMIT Culture interns Amy Bartholomeusz (curation), Cristina Ulloa Sobarzo (communications) and Hui Wen Beverly Hew (design) collaborated online to bring the exhibition together.

Cristina Ulloa Sobarzo, a Bachelor of Communications (Media) student and communications intern on the project, said the exhibition reflected the importance of creating places for students to show their work and share how they’re thinking, feeling, and finding inspiration during quarantine.

“We need to find alternative ways of cultivating a sense of student belonging this year and Museum of Me is one of the ways we are doing this,” she said.

“It’s a way to show that creativity is not lost on us, and we are still working and creating harder than ever.”

Senior Exhibition Coordinator, Helen Rayment, said it had been a wonderful experience to give the ‘digital’ keys of the RMIT Gallery to students.

“Through our new online program of exhibitions and events we have been able to open our doors widely and invite students to curate a museum about themselves,” she said.

“I can’t wait to see the works they have selected from the University’s rich collections and elsewhere that reflect their life and creative influences.”

Artwork credit: Lucy Maddox, 'Safety' (2020), Linocut on rag paper, 19 x 28.5cm

Amy Bartholomeusz, a Master of Arts (Arts Management) student, and also part of the exhibition’s creative team, said Museum of Me was inspired by the need to challenge the traditional notion of what a gallery is during lockdown.

“Presenting works from RMIT’s Cultural Collections alongside students’ creative practice in an online forum celebrates resilience and the connection we have with each other throughout this pandemic,” she said.

“Museum of Me brings creativity and cultural inspiration into the light at a time when many of us may feel we have been caught in the dark.”​

Museum of Me can be viewed via the RMIT Gallery’s website from 19 October 2020 to 5 March 2021. Join the intern team in conversation with a range of student exhibitors online on 29 October, register here.


Story: Grace Taylor

19 October 2020


19 October 2020


  • Design
  • Arts and culture

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Acknowledgement of Country

RMIT University acknowledges the people of the Woi wurrung and Boon wurrung language groups of the eastern Kulin Nation on whose unceded lands we conduct the business of the University. RMIT University respectfully acknowledges their Ancestors and Elders, past and present. RMIT also acknowledges the Traditional Custodians and their Ancestors of the lands and waters across Australia where we conduct our business - Artwork 'Luwaytini' by Mark Cleaver, Palawa.