I am a freelance heritage practitioner and consultant with experience in leading participatory heritage workshops, running tours, and curating exhibitions. I’m also available for heritage consultancy, workshops or discussions on how to find new and more diverse stories in your collections, and how to curate trans histories and identities in an inclusive way.
Please see below for a taster of what I can do, and get in touch if you’d like to discuss arranging a workshop or working together!
Consultancy | Hidden Stories project with the Royal Armouries|#RainbowPlaques | Queer history tours | Curation
In 2018-19, I worked with the V&A Museum (London) and Vasa Museet (Stockholm) as part of the international AHRC-funded project ‘Gendering Interpretations’, devising new ways of researching the hidden gendered stories behind museum objects and communicating them to the public – including through talks, tours, concerts and embroidery workshops. We’ve published an open-access article about the research, and we’re working on a toolkit for museums to put it into practice. If you’d like to chat about increasing and diversifying the representation of women, queer people and/or trans people in your museum, please get in touch.
I also design and run bespoke workshops with heritage teams to discuss the representation of trans histories and identities and troubleshoot forthcoming exhibitions, including curation, interpretation and marketing: previous clients include the V&A, British Library exhibitions team, and Henry Moore Institute. Please get in touch if you’d like to discuss this, and see my training page for more information on my approach.
Hidden Stories project with the Royal Armouries
Working with artist Luna Morgana, I co-led a trans community engagement project with Royal Armouries Leeds as part of the Leeds 2023 Hidden Stories project. We invited members of local trans communities for a day of trans history at the museum, focused around a sword commissioned by 18th-century trans spy and diplomat the Chevaliere d’Eon. As part of the day, we co-produced a zine telling the Chevaliere’s story. You can read an account of the day, and download the zine, here.
We’ll have more news on the next steps for this project soon, so keep your eyes peeled!
Together with Helen Graham (University of Leeds), I originated the #RainbowPlaques project, and I coordinate it today. #RainbowPlaques workshops invite participants to make temporary cardboard plaques marking spaces significant to queer history – whether it’s somewhere with wider significance (like the site of the UK’s first ever national trans conference) or somewhere personally important (like the place where they came out to their mum). The project empowers ordinary people to determine which histories are worth recording, and to create their own forms of commemoration – and the temporary displays of plaques make the queer history of a city visible.
I’ve been commissioned to run #RainbowPlaques workshops by West Yorkshire Queer Stories, the Centre for Live Art Yorkshire, and the V&A Museum. If you’d like to discuss arranging a workshop for your organisation, event, class or youth group, please contact me!
If you’d like to run your own #RainbowPlaques workshop, the template is free for everyone: you can download a PDF here. Feel free to contact me for tips – and we’d love it if you’d archive them on social media using the hashtag too.
Queer history tours
In 2019, I researched and wrote the content for the West Yorkshire Queer Stories history trail app – and in summer 2021, I’m giving a series of queer history tours in Leeds city centre for The Bookish Type queer bookshop. Keep an eye on their website for more info, and get in touch if you’d like to arrange a tour for your group or discuss developing a tour in another city.
In 2016-17 I was the curatorial team lead for the exhibition York Out of the Closet: 50 Years of LGBT History (York Castle Museum). The exhibition combined oral histories, loaned objects and photographs to tell the story of LGBT life in York – focusing on social life, activism, crime, health and the history of York Pride – from 1967-2017.
In 2015-16, I curated the exhibition For All Time: Shakespeare In Yorkshire at the Treasures of the Brotherton Gallery. Showcasing the Brotherton’s English Literature collection, the exhibition explored Shakespeare’s engagement with English (particularly Yorkshire) history, and the ways in which directors and actors continue to use his work to ask questions about regional identity.
I’d love to talk about future opportunities to curate queer and/or early modern history – please get in touch if you’d like to chat about that!