Museum of Brisbane

Meet MoB: Sharyn Watson

 

In our series, Meet MoB, we take you behind the scenes to introduce you to the dynamic people who keep Museum of Brisbane ticking. Get to know the passionate team-members who help bring our city’s stories to life at the Museum⁠—from arts administrators and educators to gallery hosts and curators. This week, meet Collections Assistant Sharyn Watson.

 

What does a day in the life of a Collection Assistant look like?

My day is always changing, depending on each exhibition. Usually, I meet with external clients including Brisbane City Council, manage the maintenance of the collection, and work with external conservators and framers. Some of my duties and work schedule involves preparing artwork for display and organising transport from various places. I also make archival boxes to house our collection, transporting loans for MoB Learn Programs, and ensuring the objects travel safely. Other times, I prepare documentation for auditing the collection and our resources. My role can be challenging, but it is also exciting and rewarding.


How did you first develop an interest in handling, installing and auditing artworks and objects? And what led you to your current role at MoB? 

I started in 1997 at the QueenslandArt Gallery (QAG) as a Protection and Service Officer for ‘Paris in the 19th Century’ exhibition. I was then given the opportunity to assist with registration, exhibition and workshop on demounts of each exhibition. I worked on housing their objects for regional tours, and over time I was able to travel and help install at regional galleries. 

I was heavily involved with the setup of the Gallery of Modern Art (GOMA) and the reopening of QAG. In 2009, I was offered a role as an Exhibition Officer at Museum of Brisbane, where I worked on the relocation of the Museum to 157 Ann St., while City Hall was being restored, before working on the reopening of the Museum at City Hall. This was a very exciting time, working between both buildings.


What is a fun fact or secret talent we wouldn’t know about you?

My husband and I have started travelling throughout Australia in our caravan. As we have both worked in museum and gallery areas, and with regional museums and galleries, we’ve had the chance to meet some great people. We hope that when we semi-retire, we can offer our assistance in some of the regional areas.


Can you tell us about your favorite artwork currently on show at the Museum?

It would have to be Elizabeth Shaw’s artwork from the BRISBANE ART DESIGN (BAD) exhibition, because of her concept of finding objects in our backyards, and giving them a new purpose that looks amazing.

 

– Sharyn Watson, Collections Assistant