Collaboration in practice

Behind the scenes

As the news of the proposed collaborative approach to the rebuild of Christchurch city was announced Jenny and I were in Wellington at the Museums Aotearoa annual conference. The theme of this year's conference is Collaborations in Practice.

For museums and galleries collaboration is and has been a integral component of our working lives; without partnership we simply couldn't do the things we do. Collaborations take many forms, big and small, but the key elements to their success are quite simple — good communication and the development of long-term meaningful relationships. It's also about trust. If we get these basics right that the result will always be greater than the sum of the parts.

Thinking about the Gallery and our role in working with artists and making great exhibitions, it's all about collaboration, relationship building and creating opportunities for dialogue between artists, staff, audience, funders, patrons, collectors and supporters. I'd like to think that we do get it right more often than not.

But back to the here and now, we're also looking forward to the conference dinner tonight and the announcement of the annual Museums Aotearoa awards. Christchurch Art Gallery is in the running for awards in two categories. Both of our projects are examples of the power of great collaborations, and I reckon we've got a great chance of winning! I've promised Dave a text when if we win, so stay tuned to twitter and Facebook for an update later tonight. Fingers crossed!

Director Jenny Harper on stage at the Museums Aotearoa conference

Director Jenny Harper on stage at the Museums Aotearoa conference