The National Railway Museum in York has opened a new temporary exhibition called Go as you Please to highlight underrepresented and authentic stories about disability alongside 20th century railway artwork.
The exhibition opened on 8 February 2024 and is an exploration of rail travel from the perspectives of people with lived experience of D/deafness, disability and neurodivergence. It will feature objects from the collection including railway artwork and marketing posters.
Part of the national Curating for Change programme, Go as you Please will include a specially-commissioned original artwork called Shifting Landscapes by neurodivergent artist Hayley Wall.
Object labels for the exhibition include quotes from community participants and in a first for the museum, the exhibition includes many accessible features such as QR codes that lead to an audio descriptive tour, portable object labels and a British Sign Language exhibition overview.
The exhibition includes a film called We Do Get Out and About (created by Manchester-based filmmaker David Bewick) which has subtitles, a transcript and British Sign Language interpretation.
Go as you Please is curated by Amy Thraves-Connor, Curating for Change Fellow at the National Railway Museum. Amy said:
“I hope visitors are drawn to the exhibition for its eye-catching artwork and are encouraged through this artwork to engage with stories they otherwise might not have thought relevant to them. The unexpected narrative explores the experience of travel and destination from a range of often overlooked perspectives. I want visitors to the exhibition to make their own interpretations and memories from these artworks and feel encouraged to question their thoughts around disability.”
Curating for Change is an England-wide programme that offers fellowships and traineeships to D/deaf, disabled and neurodivergent curators and was founded to challenge the underrepresentation of disabled museum professionals.
The programme aims to build a more diverse sector workforce, which is representative of the wider population, and to encourage a broader range of narratives to be explored in museums and galleries.
Curating for Change is delivered in partnership with Screen South and the Accentuate Programme and funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, Art Fund and Arts Council England.
Go as you Please opened in the National Railway Museum’s Highlights Gallery in Great Hall and is on display from Thursday 8 February until June. For more information visit (web page)
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Notes to Editors
The National Railway Museum in York has the largest collection of railway objects in the world and is the most visited free attraction in the region, receiving more than 572,577 visitors in 2022.
The collection includes including more than 260 locomotives and rolling stock, thousands of railway objects, and over 1.75 million documents, photographs and artwork in its archives.
The National Railway Museum forms part of the Science Museum Group, along with the Science Museum in London, the Science and Industry Museum in Manchester, the National Science and Media Museum in Bradford, Locomotion in Shildon, and the National Collections Centre in Wiltshire.
Admission to the National Railway Museum is free, although visitors are encouraged to book in advance, visit: www.railwaymuseum.org.uk