Jade Fox’s Marvellous Mini Galleries at National Museum Wales

Hi Jade great to meet you, can you give our readers some background information on yourself please?

My name is Jade Fox and I am a 25 Year old Museum Assistant at National Museum Wales.

I am originally from Cheshire Warrington in England and I first moved to  Cardiff 10 years ago at the age of 15. I still remember the first time a walked through the doors of National Museum Wales, Cardiff. I was blown away by its size and beauty and I would have never imaged I would work in a place like that. I started my career at the Museum around 9 years ago when I first applied for a position as a catering assistant for Elior at St Fagans. I was successful but was told my personality suited the Cardiff Museum. I’m still not sure whether or not that was a compliment or not! Although I would describe myself as someone who is full of terrible dad jokes, I am definitely one of a kind. So this is where my journey began. I worked for around 5 to 6 years occasionally looking into a position as a Museum Assistant when I was finally approached and very gladly accepted. Now 4 years later and I’m still enjoying the wonders that the Museum has to offer.

 So, what got you interested in the Arts, Museums and Heritage?

I’ve always loved art and photography but I would be lying if I said I knew much about the Welsh Heritage or the arts collection that the Museum had to offer when I first moved to Cardiff but after some exploring that soon changed. My interest truly begun though when I started my role as a Museum Assistant. I was immediately  blown away by the collection and I knew I wanted to learn more, not just for myself but so I could offer the visitors of the Museum the best experience I could.  I used to spend my time reading up on the collections and listening to the tours. Everyday I learnt something new and everyday my love for the art and heritage grew. From the Davies Sisters collection to William Wynn Watkins there is just so much to explore and learn and I’m still learning today.

During Lockdown you are creating miniature galleries based on the National Museum of Wales, Cardiff. Your photographs of your work are incredible! How did inspiration strike?

My inspiration actually came from a good friend of mine Laura. I’ve always been a crafty person but due to life and work I no longer have the time to explore that side of me. So what better time than now. I had recently posted a few images of some paintings I had worked on during the lock down. After seeing this Laura shared a post with me about someone who had created a small gallery for their pet Gerbil’s and suggested I give it a go.

Immediately my imagination went wild with all the things I could build and create in the Museum and how I was going to build it.

Can you describe your creative process with your miniature marvels?

Firstly I needed image’s from the gallery to build a plan on how I was going to achieve this. Unfortunately at this time the Museum is closed so I got access to the images through the National Museum of Wales website and the general internet. Now also due to being in lock down materials aren’t easy to come by at the moment so I used what I had to hand, A pizza box some masking tape and some old paints that had been hiding at the back of my wardrobe since the dawn of time. I firstly built the William Wynn Watkins organ to use as a size scale and bit by bit I built the reaming objects and paintings from a bit of cardboard, masking tape, paints and superglue in which there was many incidents.

Do you have a favourite gallery space and artwork at National Museum Wales?

It’s hard to choose a favourite gallery as I love them all. But I would say one of my favourites would be the landscape gallery which was the second model I created. Now in the landscape gallery you will find a painting by Manfred Uhlman called Welsh Mountains I would say this is one of my personal favourites. This piece stands out for me, The use of colours is incredible and it fills me with such warmth and joy as it reminds me of home.

If you were able to fund an area of the Arts and Heritage sector in Wales what would this be and why?

This is a very difficult question as there are so many areas of the arts and heritage sector that need funding and support, some of which I’m not aware of but the one that stands out for me though would be the learning sector with in the National Museum Wales. Its not just a museum but a place of learning for all. It would be amazing if we could only offer more to the general public and find ways of making it more accessible for all.

What excites you about Culture in Wales?

Wales is such a proud and passionate nation. I remember when I first experienced Saint Davids Day in Cardiff the streets were full of proud Welsh men, women and children they lit up the whole of Wales. I could feel the passion and even I felt proud. There is such a rich culture and history that surrounds Wales. This shown in the National Museums of Wales from St Fagan’s, National Museum of History, National Waterfront Museum, Big Pit National Coal Museum, National Slate Museum, National Wool Museum and the National Roman Legion Museum.

What was the last really great thing that you experienced that you would like to share with our readers?

The last exciting thing I did? Well at the moment it’s getting up to make another cup of tea. On a serious note though, I would say the last exciting thing I did was when I visited my family back home in Cheshire. Myself and my dad dad took a trip to the Trafford Center to play mini golf. We missed several busses and totally got on the wrong train at one point but the laughs we had will always stay with me. I also won at mini golf twice which was defiantly a bonus!

Thanks for your time Jade.

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