Q&A with Rosie Fuller, Freelance Museum Educator


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Tell us a little about you, your family, and where you live.

I live with my very naughty cat in Walthamstow.

How did you choose your career, and can you tell us a little about the journey from school to College/ Further Education.

When I was a teenager, I queued up for hours at The Museum of London for my turn to see the Spitalfields Roman. Simon Thurley was the museum’s director then, and he was there, enthusing wildly about how archaeology allows us glimpses into past peoples’ lives. He sold it to me.

I spent a few summer holidays on training excavations, laughing and heaving buckets about and doing my knees in. Then I went to Sheffield to study archaeology and prehistory. I worked as field archaeologist for a bit, and volunteered at my local museum, Kelham Island Museum and at Conisbrough Castle. I got a job at Jorvik Viking Centre, interacting with visitors and going into schools dressed up as a Viking. I loved it. So I went to Newcastle and came back with an MA in Heritage, Education and Interpretation.

I became an Education Officer at the Horniman Museum, and after a couple of years there I decided to mix it up and went freelance. I work at lots of museums around London, mostly with schools and families.

Can you tell us about what you gained from school, and who inspired you when you were there.

We had some fantastic history teachers at school. In fact one of my old history teachers came to a family workshop I was running at Museum of London recently. So the tables had turned, I was teaching him and his son. it amused him; it freaked me out a bit.

kew gardens

Which are your favourite London cultural/ creative places to visit?

Well, I can’t choose any of the places I work with because, of course, I don’t have favourites. So I choose:
The Festival Hall, Southbank Centre – it has a singing lift, The little Angel theatre, Islington, and Eastern Curve Garden and Kew Gardens, which has a museum, a palace, an aquarium, an art gallery, beautiful glasshouses and, you know, plants.

Which exhibitions are you most excited about at the moment ?

  1. Vikings at the British Museum
  2. Britian: one million years of the human story at NHM
  3. Hockney prints at Dulwich Picture Gallery
  4. Matisse Paper cuts at the Tate
  5. Martin Creed at the Hayward
  6. Jeremy Deller at the William Morris Gallery
  7. Sensing Spaces at the Royal Academy

Which art institutions and or industry people are you most impressed with, and why ?

Two pairs of people who have set up brilliant consultancies that I wish I had thought of:

Janet Clark and Lizzie Edwards, who have established The Ministry of Making to engage people with their local area through art, culture and heritage.

Kim and Edward Biddulph who have set up Schools Prehistory to provide schools and museums with the support many urgently need to teach the new Key Stage 2 history curriculum in England.

If you were in charge of the curriculum and had a decent amount of funding for a week, what would you change ?

The National Curriculum? Blimey, I’m not sure I would achieve much in a week! Best use of the funding, then, would be to buy all the teachers a cake.

The BIll Gates Foundation is giving you a work of art for your birthday, what would you choose ?

I would like a creation by one of the artists at Arthouse Meath, please, Bill. Preferably something with flamingoes on.

Which 3 children’s books are you most fond of ?

Stig of the Dump by Clive King is a book I remember very fondly from my own childhood. The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle was a book I loved when I was little too, but it is also use it at work a lot too – it is very useful when teaching children about silk worms. Banana by Ed Vere is one of my favourite books to read with small children.

What treats are on your present list this year?

Laduree macarons please.

Which 3 items are most essential in your teaching craft box?

Come family workshop season, every school holiday, I could not survive without: Double sided tape, Pipe cleaners and Googly eyes.

You have a weekend off, (no shopping) just culture and a long lunches, where do you head ?

Yorkshire. More archaeology than you can shake a stick at, plus Yorkshire Sculpture Park, the Hepworth, Leeds Art Gallery.

We feel very spoilt to have so many fantastic free museums offering inspiring and family workshops in London, if you wanted to share a secret about a museum in London or the UK that is in your top 5, can you !?

There is a secret door in The British Museum’s enlightenment gallery, disguised as a bookcase.

Rosies Easter workshops List : 2014:(See Event Listing on home page)

  1. Children’s workshops at RIBA
  2. Mobile making at the Cutty Sark
  3. Story book making at the Museum of London and Museum of London Docklands Archaeology
  4. Q&As for families at the British Museum : Part of the family programme accompanying : The Vikings Exhibition

Contact Rosie Fuller : Twitter: @rosieeatsjam