Megan Dowsett is a freelance creative consultant working with museums and galleries.

Through the name Norris and the Flamingo, she shares the sense of adventure that runs through all of life, wherever we are on our journey. A sense of imagination, of possibility and discovery, for children and adults alike.

Her core values come down to two simple things:

People: At the heart of everything she does, people are there – be it audiences of any age or background, volunteers, staff or freelancers and apprentices. She believes that the best projects take everybody with them on a learning journey.

Creativity: In every role she’s taken, creativity has played a key priority. Working in Museums and Galleries, creativity brings a valuable opportunity to think about the same things in a different way.

Museums and galleries are the perfect place to bring the joy of discovery and magic of adventure to everyone who passes through the doors - and to invite those who haven't yet braved these sometimes intimidating buildings, to do so in a dynamic and inviting way.

Over twelve years working in these exciting settings, Megan has developed extensive experience in both managing and delivering creative projects that engage with a wide variety of audiences.

22 November 2017

A Tribute to Friendship

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A little something to celebrate the friendship of two amazing three year olds.

This alphabet, which has grown slowly out of my hub cap project, and first appeared in February in my 2017 calendar, hit a creative block earlier this year.  It was my recent invigoration for collage that caused me to revisit the alphabet, and bring it to life through my extensive collection of papers.  I will say this again and again, but it is SO satisfying to be working in this 'hands on' way again!

16 November 2017

Brixton's Hidden Windmill

I'm working with Brixton Windmill to review and update their schools sessions, and write some new ones.  It's a real privilege to work with such a place - I've been aware of the Windmill for years, but to work in my own neighbourhood, for this secret gem tucked just out of sight of the rush of Brixton, is a real treat.  Furthermore, my mind is boggled by the professionalism and hard work of the Friends of Windmill Gardens - the Windmill is an entirely voluntary-run organisation, though they fight hard to make this otherwise. 20171113_093924 And it's pretty magical to turn up for a workshop that is as-good-as-outside, on a crisp, autumn morning!

8 November 2017

Orleans Autumn

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Last week I made a glorious, nostalgic return to Orleans House, where I will be leading the Art Forum for the rest of the term.  It was one of those days (already behind us, I fear), when the world is on your side - the sun shines cold and crisp on crunchy autumn leaves and all the colours are set alive.  The woods in the Gallery grounds have always been magical for me, and this day I opened the gate to be assaulted by the smell of some late blossom - an utter surprise at this time of year.

20171025_110304 20171025_105739I am amused to discover that colleagues think of me when they walk through the woods, because apparently I rave about them so much.  But who wouldn't, when in the course of traveling to work, you are transported from a trafficky, highly polluted (and culturally awesome) Brixton to this little oasis of tranquility and peace, just seconds from the river?

Orleans House Gallery is surrounded by fencing, traffic cones and folk in hard hats, as it comes to the end of its dramatic HLF-funded restoration, giving it a whole new floor and enabling infinitely better access to the collection.

1 November 2017

Fireworks

20171026_11222020171108_125056 I'm trying to get Feets past her fear of fireworks.  We cut circle holes out of cardboard and used them as a template to make marks with chalk pastels.  She hadn't used this material before and loved smudging them!  But it didn't resolve the firework fear.  Ah well, there's always next year ...

25 October 2017

It really is better than salt dough!

20171022_202002I've had my eye on this recipe for 'white' salt dough for a long time, and finally tried it out with Feets the other day for some early Christmas presents. And the Typical Mom is pretty much right!

It's not perfect - it cracks a bit as it dries, but so does salt dough, and it has some strange brown splotches that I think are from me burning it, so we might manage even better next time, but we are pretty happy.

And they are pretty effective as gifts from a three year old! We pressed lace (bumpy lace worked well) and dried leaves into it, and cut out with cookie cutters ... all happy! Now to explore some more creative uses ...

18 October 2017

Homes from Sticks

20170831_110233 Utterly inspired by two days at a Forest School this summer, Feets begged for more.  So when we went camping in Dorset, I took a headful of ideas that would keep up the Forest School vibe.  We spent a glorious morning collecting sticks before seeing what kinds of houses we could make for our sylvanian families.  Feets was most determined to use thread, which kept her very busy, while I carefully stacked sticks up the side.  We were both very content!
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11 October 2017

Checking out the Postal Museum

Postage Stamp Thanks to the Early Years Network, I was able to explore the all shiny-new Postal Museum.  Actually, it's pretty exciting turning up, just seeing teams of postal vans at platforms at the depot across the way - it sets my geeky cogs going ... how does it really all work?  How on earth does my letter, posted in a panic one evening, so often land on the doorstep the next morning?  Especially since these days, I've noticed, so much London delivery is done on foot.

From a learning perspective, the new galleries are, of course, a dream.  They feel similar in aesthetic and layout to the new design gallery at London Transport Museum (LTM)- is this reflective of an evolving style in gallery design?  Or were the same designers involved?  Either way, they are rich with interactives, costumes to try on, buttons to press, lights to light up and a chance to design your own 'selfie stamp'.
Similarly, the beautiful, spanking new 'Sorted', role-play area for children has probably taken inspiration from All Aboard at LTM.  With a beautiful London backdrop, a mini post office and a mini sorting office complete with slide, there will be some very happy, tiny posties soon enough.