This week I presented a paper on the Sunderland Museum project to the annual conference of the Museum Ethnographers Group. It was the first proper academic conference in which I had to present, so naturally I was a bit worried. The theme was on "Making Things," which was a good fit. For good measure, I was paired with contemporary artist George Nuku, whose contemporary Maori installations are both challenging and transparent (some of his traditional Maori forms are made with carved and polished perspex)
It turned out to be a great experience. Researchers who are really good at what they do were receptive to my work, and it was surprising how much common ground we could find. Chris Wingfield's paper on the biography of a Missionary Society basket was impressive.