Amgueddfa Blog

Our Museum Garden June 2022

Sian Taylor-Jones, 24 Mehefin 2022

Our wonderful ‘Our Museum Garden’ volunteers have made a great start in the first 3 months of the project. We are on a mission to improve our museum grounds for biodiversity and the public. At the end of March we set about clearing the carpark and grounds of huge amounts of Irish Ivy (Hedera hibernica) and removing dead shrubs. It’s given us some great planting opportunities:

  • We have planted spring bulbs (for next year) under the trees as you drive into the carpark. There are snowdrops (Galanthus nivalis) and a variety of different daffodils (Narcissus spp.) We also added some geraniums and ferns for some later interest.
  • We have started to develop a herb bed. This isn’t intended solely for human consumption – but to provide for the pollinators too. The ‘herb bed’ has been planted up with rosemary (Salvia Rosmarinus), lavender (Lavandula), marjoram (Origanum marjoram), thyme (Thymus vulgaris), chives (Allium schoenoprasum), borage (Borago officinalis), angelica (A. archangelica), fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) and chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile). We have already seen lots of insect visitors to the patch.
  • There are the beginnings of plans for a small herbaceous border.

 

The volunteer group is also tasked with looking after the ‘Urban Meadow’. For the next few months, this patch of ground adjacent to Park Place will be alive with wildflowers and pollinators. We supported Plantlife’s ‘No Mow May’ campaign which encourages people to keep their lawns uncut to increase biodiversity. We surveyed the meadow at the end of the month and found a wide selection of grasses and 8 different flowers including bird’s foot trefoil (Lotus corniculatus) and creeping buttercup (Ranunculus repens). We estimate at that time there were 4950 wildflowers within the space.

 

We will have an event running to celebrate National Meadows Day on Saturday July 2nd too. Come and join us, survey the meadow with us and make seed bombs to take away and start your own mini-meadow!  All the details you need are here: National Meadows Day | National Museum Wales

 

This project is funded by Welsh Government’s Landfill Disposals Tax Communities Scheme, administered by WCVA.

 

Queer Tours at St Fagans National Museum of History

Oska von Ruhland, 14 Mehefin 2022

Amgueddfa Cymru - National Museum Wales is home to a growing collection of objects exploring Wales’ LGBTQ+ history. Like the other collections, they’re all available to view online in the Collections & Research tab on the Museum’s website. The Collections Online features objects both in store and currently on display.

Though the collection is always available to freely view and people may read through the information about each object and learn in their own time, it is a shared view that it is important to celebrate and uplift the stories and lives of marginalised communities and bring forward hidden aspects of Welsh history. In doing this work we hope to normalise queer lives in Wales, and solidify the important role of diverse identities as part of Welsh culture.

To give an idea of the sort of objects we will be discussing in the Queer Tours projects, we would like to invite you to look through Collections Online, and consider not only contemporary queer icons who make our variety of Pride events so unique, or even famous historical figures who have secured a place in mainstream Welsh heritage, but the lives of the everyday person who may have had to live in secret, or whose activism was never properly recorded. Here we want to bring forward all of these lost stories, in the hopes that by sharing them we will continue to uncover more.

In an effort to bring attention to the LGBTQ+ Collection, we have developed the Queer Tours project to encourage the public to explore the variety of objects and better understand Wales’ queer heritage. This project has been developed by Amgueddfa Cymru Producers on behalf of the museum for the Pride season.

For the ever-growing variety of objects in the collection, and a want to reflect as many important aspects of this heritage as possible, several parts of this project have been developed or are in the process of being developed:

  • A series of social media posts highlighting a selection of objects in the collection and their role in queer Welsh heritage that will be available on the Bloedd AC Instagram account.
  • A digital tour video of St Fagans National Museum of History exploring objects currently on display and the way we can interpret the history of queer everyday life.
  • A self-guided tour for visitors of St Fagans National Museum of History to follow the route themselves and become immersed in history themselves.
  • A  special one-time-event in-person led tour is being developed so that attendees may enjoy hearing about the work at St Fagans National Museum of History and the continuing effort being put into the LGBTQ+ Collection.

It is our hope that this project be useful and educational to people not just during this Pride season, but will leave a lasting impact and change views of what queer heritage means in Wales.

All of this work is possible thanks to the Hands on Heritage support fund.

On Your Doorstep exhibition install to opening

Katherine Slade, Ben Rowson, Jody Deacon, Julian Carter & Alastair Willis, 24 Mai 2022

The On Your Doorstep exhibition is now open at Oriel y Parc in St. David’s, Pembrokeshire. This collaborative exhibition between the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park and Amgueddfa Cymru highlights natural history and archeological discoveries made across Pembrokeshire. It also features local wildlife, and you can use our spotter’s sheets to spot them.

This exhibition emerged from an idea formed during the early Covid lockdown in 2020. As nobody could travel far from home, we all started to notice and appreciate what was right on our doorsteps.

Our response at the museum was to create resources inspired by the museum collections to encourage people to explore the nature and archaeology where they live. Spotter’s guides, archaeology factsheets, puzzles and nature bingo were released under the On Your Doorstep banner during the restrictions.

But how did we prepare and transport the museum objects used in the exhibition and what was involved from a curator’s point of view?

Like many people across the UK, we had to find new ways of working during the pandemic to help keep everyone safe. Our team, working from homes across Wales, met virtually and brainstormed ideas online.

Following the design and planning phases, museum curators and conservators made sure the chosen museum objects were ready for display. Some of the specimens needed additional conservation and preparation work. This included adding extra fixings to pressed botanical specimens so that they were securely attached to their backing and moving preserved fish to new preserving fluids. A beautiful Corn Marigold wax model made in the 1930s required extensive work to remove a wax bloom covering the model as well as some stabilisation repairs. Special slug models were created for the exhibition by shell curator Ben, as it is difficult to show the beauty of these animals from fluid preserved specimens in our collections.

We wanted to show the specimens in a natural context, so we gathered together dressing materials such as dried plants, twigs and leaves. Stripy coastal snails were stuck onto a dried and painted Sea Holly, and eggboxes were needed to stage the moths around a moth trap. We used pebbles to hint at the Scaly Cricket’s shingle shore home, and a hand lens by the lichens suggests a way to spot tiny characters in the field.

Once everything was assembled, we started packing ready for transport from National Museum Cardiff to Oriel y Parc. With many delicate objects, this was no mean feat. Items were ticked off lists, object exit forms (to allow us to track where specimens are) were signed and we were ready to go!

Meanwhile the museum’s exhibitions and tech teams continued work to get cases, panels, labels in place, as well as commissioning construction of the central structure in the gallery, made in part to show off the impressive casts of early Christian monuments from Penally.

Once curators and conservators arrived at Oriel y Parc, and after a quick cuppa, we started to arrange cases into position with the Oriel y Parc team. We cleaned the insides of the cases thoroughly before placing objects.

Because of the wide variety of Amgueddfa Cymru’s collections, something we can do is combine very different objects and subjects. In this exhibition we mixed natural history and archaeology specimens. While Wales has many native plants and animals, some were brought to Wales by people, for example, for food, medicine or accidently. We placed a couple of non-native animals and plants into archaeology cases in the gallery. A poppy sits amongst prehistoric and Roman finds, as it was probably accidently introduced by farmers to Wales during the Iron Age.

A fun finishing touch was to hide Ghost Slug models around the gallery. Why? Ghost Slugs were first found in Wales in Cardiff in 2008. We want to track their spread and need everyone to look for them. Could you be the first to find one in Pembrokeshire? To get some practice you can search for them in the exhibition!

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The On Your Doorstep exhibition can be seen now at Oriel y Parc in St. David’s. There are accompanying digital resources, all accessible from the website. These include some new free spotter’s sheets created especially for the exhibition.

For more news around the exhibition take a look at @OrielyParc on Twitter and use the hashtags #OnYourDoorstep and #ArEichStepenDrws

For news on the archaeology, conservation and natural history teams at Amgueddfa Cymru follow @SF_Archaeology, @NatHistConserv and @CardiffCurator

Project datblygu'r wefan

Amgueddfa Cymru a One Further, 23 Mai 2022

Gwrando ar leisiau defnyddwyr digidol Amgueddfa Cymru

Rydyn ni yng nghanol cyfres gyffrous o brojectau fydd yn gweddnewid ein darpariaeth ddigidol i gwsmeriaid. Rydyn ni'n datblygu cyfeiriad ffres i'n strategaeth ddigidol, gan ailedrych ar y systemau sy'n galluogi pobl i ymwneud â ni, ac yn ailfeddwl sut y byddwn ni'n mynegi ein hunain ar-lein.

At hyn, rydyn ni'n edrych ar rôl ein gwefan. Mae wedi bod yn gwasanaethu'r Amgueddfa ers blynyddoedd, ac er ei bod wedi esblygu yn yr amser hwnnw, mae'n amser am newid pellgyrhaeddol.

I ddechrau'r broses, byddwn ni'n gweithio gydag asiantaeth o'r enw One Further. Byddan nhw'n ein helpu i ddatblygu dealltwriaeth well o sut mae'n gwefan yn gwasanaethu ein defnyddwyr a ble mae cyfleoedd i wella. Bydd eu persbectif allanol o fudd, oherwydd o weithio gyda'r wefan o ddydd i ddydd, mae'n anodd i ni gael trosolwg diduedd ohoni.

Rydyn ni hefyd yn ymwybodol iawn y bydd yn rhaid i'r wefan newydd wasanaethu pobl Cymru a darparu platfform i ddenu'r cymunedau rydyn ni'n cydweithio â nhw (a chymunedau rydyn ni am weithio gyda nhw yn y dyfodol). Rhaid i ni felly glywed yn uniongyrchol gan y bobl a'r cymunedau hynny.

Dyma elfen fawr o waith One Further droson ni. Yma maen nhw'n esbonio rhai o'r dulliau rydyn ni'n eu defnyddio i gasglu barn ein defnyddwyr digidol.

Pwy sy'n ymweld â'r wefan a pham

I gasglu amrywiaeth eang o ymatebion rydyn ni wedi bod yn defnyddio amrywiaeth o holiaduron ar ein gwefan.

Mae holiaduron bwriad defnyddwyr yn gofyn i bobl beth yw diben eu hymweliad. Yw'r rheswm yn bersonol neu'n broffesiynol? Ydyn nhw am gwblhau tasg benodol?

Mae holiaduron defnyddio cynnwys yn gofyn i bobl fesur safon tudalen benodol ac awgrymu gwelliannau.

Mae holiaduron gadael yn ymddangos pan mae'n edrych yn debyg bod rhywun am adael y wefan. Dyma pryd fyddwn ni'n gofyn am ansawdd eu profiad a pa welliannau yr hoffen nhw eu gweld.

Wrth gwrs, gall yr holiaduron fod yn boendod o'u defnyddio'n ansensitif. Rydyn ni'n gwneud yn siŵr taw dim ond ar dudalennau priodol y byddan nhw'n ymddangos, ac nad ydyn ni'n tarfu ar rywun sydd ar hanner cwblhau tasg.

Mae mwyafrif y cwestiynau yn amlddewis er mwyn annog mwy o bobl i'w cwblhau, a fyddwn ni ddim yn dangos mwy nag un holiadur i bobl mewn un sesiwn.

Sgrinlun o wefan Amgueddfa Cymru yn dangos naidlen adborth

Hwyluso taith defnyddwyr

Rydyn ni am ddeall pa mor hawdd a chyflym y gall pobl ganfod gwybodaeth ar y wefan. Yw'r dyluniad yn reddfol? Ydyn ni'n defnyddio'r labeli cywir i gyfeirio pobl?

I brofi hyn rydyn ni'n defnyddio rhaglen o'r enw Treejack. Mae'n ein galluogi i greu model o ddyluniad gwefan a gosod tasgau i bobl eu cwblhau. Mae'r rhain yn cynnwys gofyn iddyn nhw ble yn strwythur y wefan bydden nhw'n disgywl canfod gwybodaeth benodol.

Rydyn ni wedyn yn anfon dolenni at bobl ac yn aros i'r canlyniadau ddychwelyd.

Drwy ofyn i bobl gwblhau teithiau defnyddiwr cyffredin ar y wefan gallwn ni adnabod problemau, llwybrau seithug, a rhwystrau.

Os oes cyfran fawr o bobl yn mynd at adran anghywir o'r wefan, mae'n debyg bod angen i ni ailfeddwl pensaernïaeth y wefan. Os yw pobl yn cyrraedd yr adran gywir ond yna'n dilyn sawl opsiwn gwahanol, efallai bod angen ailfeddwl y labelu. Mae'r cyfan yn adborth defnyddiol.

Treejack feedback example

Profi defnyddioldeb wyneb yn wyneb

Mae'r ddau ddull uchod yn ein galluogi i gasglu gwybodaeth eang. Ochr arall y glorian wedyn yw profi defnyddioldeb ar raddfa bersonol, a hynny gyda sgyrsiau unigol dros Zoom.

Rydyn ni'n gofyn i unigolion rannu eu sgriniau ac yn gosod cyfres o dasgau cyffredin i'w cwblhau.

Gyda'r person ar ochr arall y sgrin, gallwn ni ofyn cwestiynau pellach i ddeall yn well y penderfyniadau a'r rhagdybiaethau a welwn ni. Pan fydd rhywun yn mynd ar goll, mae'n anodd weithiau ceisio peidio eu rhoi nhw ar ben y ffordd!

Rydyn ni'n gwneud yn siŵr ein bod ni'n siarad â sampl cynrychioliadol o bobl, a defnyddiwyd holiadur sgrinio ar y wefan cyn trefnu sesiwn ar amser oedd yn gyfleus iddyn nhw.

Cyn y pandemig bydden ni'n aml yn cynnal y profion yma mewn canolfan brofi defnyddioldeb arbennig, neu yn swyddfeydd ein cleient. Ond rydyn ni wedi gweld sawl budd o brofi o bell, yn enwedig:

  • Mae'r person yn gallu defnyddio eu hoffer eu hunain, mewn lleoliad cyfarwydd, sy'n gwneud iddyn nhw ymlacio,
  • Does dim angen teithio, felly gallwn ni brofi pobl fyddai ddim wedi gallu gwneud hynny fel arfer, ac
  • Nid yw'r gymaint o broblem os oes yn rhaid i berson ganslo ar y funud ola.

Defnyddio'r wybodaeth newydd

Mae casglu adborth uniongyrchol gan gynulleidfaoedd y wefan yn gynnar yn y broses yn hynod ddefnyddiol i lywio ein dealltwriaeth o sut mae pobl yn gweld y wefan. Mae hyn wedi arwain at sgyrsiau mwy deallus gan bobl mewn gwahanol adrannau.

Bydd yr adborth hwn hefyd yn llywio gwelliannau i'r wefan. Mae rhai gwelliannau yn hawdd i'w cyflwyno, ond byddwn ni'n defnyddio ein dealltwriaeth newydd i awgrymu gwelliannau ehangach wrth lywio cyfeiriad y wefn i'r dyfodol.

 

Pride 2022

6 Mai 2022

Ar ôl cofio rywsut sut i drefnu digwyddiad mor fawr ar ôl cyfnod mor hir, roedd Amgueddfa Genedlaethol y Glannau yn gartref i PRIDE ar 30ain Ebrill a Mini PRIDE ar 1 Mai. Roedd hi'n ymdrech fawr gan y tîm cyfan, gyda staff Ymgysylltu Cymunedol, Addysg, Digwyddiadau, ac Ymgysylltu Ieuenctid yn cydweithio â PRIDE Abertawe, Cyngor Dinas Abertawe a Heddlu De Cymru. Heb anghofio wrth gwrs y timau Blaen Tŷ, Technegol, Glanhau (roedd lot fawr o glitter!), Marchnata ac Elior. (Ymddiheuriadau i unrhywun dwi heb eu henwi – fe gyfrannodd pawb.)

Yn y gorffennol, PRIDE oedd y digwyddiad mwyaf yn yr Amgueddfa, gydag ymhell dros 4000 o bobl yn galw draw. Eleni dyma ni'n dewis canolbwyntio ar fod yn Fan Cymunedol yr ŵyl, gyda phecyn adloniant cymedrol, yn wahanol i'r prif lwyfan ar Lawnt yr Amgueddfa lle roedd stondinau bwyd a diod, a nwyddau.

Roedd yr adeilad yn llawn stondinau gwybodaeth, gwerthwyr crefft a chymunedol o bob math – YMCA Abertawe, Cyfnewid Llyfrau Oxfam, tîm rygbi hoyw/cynhwysol Swansea Vikings (roedden nhw'n boblogaidd iawn!), Proud Councils, a Gwasanaeth Tân Canol a Gorllewin Cymru (oedd hefyd yn boblogaidd am ryw reswm!).

Y tu allan roedd amrywiaeth o weithgareddau yng ngardd GRAFT, gan gynnwys gweithdy sgiliau Circus Eruption, drymio o Affrica, gweithdy hunaniaeth a darlunio sialc. Yno hefyd oedd côr cynhwysol True Colours, môr forynion croesawgar, flachddawns zumba a llawer mwy!

Fe dyrrodd pawb i'r stondin siarad i wrando ar Welsh Ballroom, cyn i ni glywed Christoper Anstee yn lansio'i gofiant newydd Polish the Crown gyda phanel holi ac ateb treiddgar yn trafod dod i oed yn LGBTQ+ ac effaith Cymal 28.

Dyma ni'n dechrau'r dydd fel arfer drwy ymuno â'r orymdaith drwy'r ddinas i ddangos ein cefnogaeth, a diolch byth roedd yr haul yn gwenu a'r dorf i gyd yn swnllyd eu cefnogaeth!

Yn y nos dyma ni'n gweld Welsh Ballroom yn dangos eu doniau wrth lwyfannu sioe ffasiwn hollgynhwysol, yn dathlu cyrff o bob math – ac roedd cyfle i'r gynulleidfa ymuno ar ddiwedd y sioe.

Plant a phobl ifanc oedd canolbwynt dydd Sul – diwrnod arall lliwgar llawn hwyl. Roedd yno deithiau My Little Pony a Trollz, crefftau a glitter ym mhobman, amser stori gyda brenhines drag, gweithdy holi ac ateb Beth yw PRIDE? gyda phobol ifanc Good Vibes, a gorymdaith PRIDE fach ciwt ofnadwy drwy'r Brif Neuadd.

Roedd e'n benwythnos ffantastig, a mor braf oedd gweld cymaint o wynebau cyfarwydd ar ôl oesoedd. Ar ôl camu i'r Amgueddfa a gweld yr adeilad yn enfys o liwiau LGBTQ+, gwnaeth un partner cymunedol grio mewn hapusrwydd gan ddweud 'Diolch, mae'n teimlo fel dod adre, mae mor braf teimlo galla i fod yn fi.'.

Ymlaen i 2023...