From Theory to Practice – A Museum Studies Intern’s Journey

This month Museum Studies Intern Roxanna Richens shares her recent experiences  working with the Performing Arts Collection’s Kristian Fredrikson Design Collection… 

This month, I completed a two week, full time internship, working with the Arts Centre’s Performing Arts Collection. The project I worked on involved cataloguing and re-housing a collection of costume designs by Kristian Fredrikson, which perfectly drew together my Visual Arts background and my interest in costume.

In 2009 I completed a bachelor degree in Visual Arts at Monash University. Here, my practice focussed on identity, in particular the ways in which visual tropes such as Mise-en-scène, costume, props and body language signify character and cultural identity. I created and developed two personal alter egos, which were realised through self-portrait photography and a range of props relating to the character.

At present I am completing a graduate diploma in Museum Studies at Deakin University. It has been so exciting to put the knowledge from this course to practice and to confirm my passion for the industry. I have been especially excited to know that the work I have done makes the Fredrikson designs more accessible to the Arts Centre’s curators and more easily transferred to the online catalogue and therefore more accessible to exhibition and online audiences in future.

The internship has really confirmed for me, the value of Arts Centre Melbourne’s Performing Arts Collection. I have been especially fascinated by the way the different areas of the collection all link together to create an overall picture. For example, I would start with a design and could discover more about the production from the collection of programmes and in some cases I could see how the design was realised or worn on stage in the costume and photograph collections. The costume for one of the Fredrikson designs that I catalogued, ‘A Court Lady’ from The Australian Ballet production of Aurora’s Wedding, 1964 [2003.023.020] is currently on display in the Velik Foyer in Hamer Hall.

Roxanna Richens

Costume design by Kristian Fredrikson for The Nutcracker
Gift of The Australiuan Ballet, 1998

Published by

Performing Arts Collection

Arts Centre Melbourne's Performing Arts Collection is the national leader among specialist performing arts collections in Australia. Established in 1975, it is formally recognised as a State collection and encompasses the history of circus, dance, music, opera and theatre. The Collection features over 640,000 items including costumes, designs, photographs, set models, puppets, props, posters, programs and archives.

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