Bunch of mint

Contemporary Collecting


Anne Edwards has been supporting the Joined Up project since its beginnings and, as the project comes to a close, has sent us some of her observations. Anne was a key player in helping the museum and heritage partners complete their sample visitor surveys in the summer of 2015 and she is particularly interested in supporting museums look to contemporary culture as a resource for their future collections.
“As  the support officer for the museums and heritage attractions, that make up DMAG, I have been delighted to observe the action, reaction and interaction between the DMAG partners and their carefully selected artists in the Joined Up project.
As with every project it took a long time for us to outline what the projected programme could be and even longer to predict desired outcomes. As things developed many of the initial ideas needed to be refined and occasionally outcomes modified.
For me Joined Up has had an unforeseen outcome that will offer the DMAG participants an unlooked for but golden opportunity. One of the difficulties with planning what to collect and how it reflects the purpose of the museum, its local community and visitors is coping with the increasing variety/mass production and social relevance of 21st century material.
All too often the subject of contemporary collecting is a step too far and there is a concentration on things that come from ‘the past’. 
The artists who have worked with DMAG have utilised collections from ‘the past’ (in this case 1914-1918) and their inspirations from these collections, helped by the many volunteers and staff to understand their significance, have resulted in a range of wonderful, relevant and exciting contemporary works including bunting, sculptures, music, illustrations and photographs to name a few. These new 21st century works will soon be available to go through each institution’s accession and collecting process to become inalienable objects which will often be the very first 21st century item to be catalogued into our DMAG partners museums.”