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.

29 May 2012

Possibly the most incredible gift ever received

IMG_4023I don't think of myself as a 'hen do' type of person. But I couldn't resist an extra opportunity to introduce my favourite people to each other. What I didn't realise was that a 'hen do' leaves you feeling more special, more loved and more spoilt than you could ever imagine. For me, this was centred on the gift of a quilt, wondrously conceived and compiled by one of my bridesmaids, Emma, and contributed to by 20 of the world's best people (namely, my friends and family). Trying to describe it only reduces it to something less than it is. I leave you to imagine the story behind each square, the self-deprecating phrases of the allegedly 'non creative' friends and the fond memories shared by others.

485817_10150973908616151_628909935_n I guess when she dreamed up this project, Emma didn't anticipate the full extent of the 'participation' element, as we spent a happy half hour trying to guess who had contributed which square! 547094_10150973908381151_933872528_n
What more to say, but thank you ... thank you ... thank you ...

27 May 2012

French Stripes

IMG_3997I have had the pleasure of working with Crofters After School Club for young people with disabilities, over three sessions. We have gloriously indulged in cliche to create all things French, including these highly 'French' stripey t-shirts to wear in the Carnival parade. Along with their moustaches, paper mache food icons and Eiffel Tower, I think Crofters will be hard to miss! IMG_3995

21 May 2012

Alighiero Boetti

I recently went to see Alighiero Boetti's Game Plan at Tate Modern.  It's not the exhibition I would be most likely to see, but the logical, pattern seeking mind of one friend and the map-loving mind of Liam made it an obvious social-cultural excursion.  And, as is often the case with life-long retrospectives, I was blown away by the variety and beauty of some of his pieces.

Alighiero Boetti was fascinated by mathematical patterns, codes and the aesthetic effects of random-ness.  I found these elements intriguing, but I should confess that, as and aestheticist first and foremost, I was attracted by his embroidered works.  And then, even more so, by the stunning effects he was able to get with his works in biro - and how closely these wavering rows of methodical biro colouring resembled the ordered rows of the embroidered pieces.

I'm afraid I also can't help returning to a frustration that all the things that inspire me most, tend to have been created not by the artist himself, who is responsible for the concept, but by his workshops, particularly in Pakistan, who have the most incredible skill for these - and no idea, in most cases, of why they are doing it!

I guess, at heart, I'm a maker.

17 May 2012

Twickenham Carnival 2012

IMG_3990[1]This term, I have generously handed over my Art Clubs to other artists, and am working to coordinate and deliver outreach workshops across the Borough of Richmond, with the intention to create all the banners, figureheads and floats for the Twickenham Carnival parade, alongside another artist, Caroline Jones. IMG_3992[1] The theme for this years Carnival is 'Olympic Countries', and we have selected ten countries which have a relation- ship with Richmond. The aim is to create a banner and figurehead for each, and to coordinate Art Club and other group leaders to work with children on costumes, flags and instruments that they can wave or play in the parade. IMG_3989[1] In these photos, Year 7 at Teddington School are working on the Brazilian banner, each creating an embroid- ered tree, fungi or other rainforest foliage, which will be assembled together to create an Amazonian Rainforest scene.

13 May 2012

Debby and Guy's Wedding: Before and After

IMG_3847As mentioned previously, I put together a crafts table to keep the children busy during Debbby and Guy's wedding reception. I was pleased and relieved to see a self-directed happy hum buzzing throughouy the evening, and entertained to re-visit the table at the end, to survey the chaos!IMG_3861