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In My Mind's Eye: the museum explored

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In My Mind’s Eye is a new podcast series, which grew out of our national lockdown earlier in 2020. We invited 5 artists and writers, who had previously worked with us at the Fitzwilliam Museum, to think about what happens when we can no longer access artworks directly. How do these art works continue to exist, in our memories and imaginations? How do they influence the art we ourselves might make?

Ali Smith, Halima Cassell, Issam Kourbaj, Jackie Kay and Matt Smith took up the challenge and shared with us the artworks that they carried with them from the Fitz in their mind’s eye. In each podcast we learn about different experiences of lockdown in recordings which had to be done remotely to comply with Covid-19 regulations. We gain insight into creativity in isolation as we learn about the ideas and process behind their creative responses to the remembered artworks, which were the starting point for inspiration.

The conversations with the artists and writers, and their recollections, share memories from the Scottish highlands to Pakistan. We find out about soap production in Aleppo, and how a 19th century drawing can be seen in the context of Black Lives Matter. As we approach a winter of growing restriction caused by the resurgence of Covid-19, we invite you to listen to In My Mind’s Eye: the museum explored.

The series was produced and presented by Carmen Pryce, with audio production by Nick Harris and was made possible by the support of the Belvedere Trust.

Podcast transcript

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  1. 00:00:02 - 00:00:15
    Carmen Pryce Hi, I'm Carmen, Pryce, and this is in my mind's eye. The Museum explored a podcast where I talked to artists and writers during lockdown about their memories of the Fitzwilliam Museum, part of the University of Cambridge.
  2. 00:00:16 - 00:00:27
    Carmen Pryce Now, in March 2020 our world changed. In response to the Corona virus pandemic, we went into lock down. Self isolating and social distancing became the norm and the museum closed.
  3. 00:00:28 - 00:00:30
    Carmen Pryce Here's Luke Syson, museum director,
  4. 00:00:32 - 00:00:33
    Luke Syson When
  5. 00:00:33 - 00:00:55
    Luke Syson we went into lock down and the museum was closed, we started thinking very hard about the way in which works of art have entered people's imagination. How we hold certain images on objects in our in our minds in our memories and that they become points of reference and continual forms of of inspiration
  6. 00:00:55 - 00:01:27
    Carmen Pryce To explore Luke's idea of memories and the part museums play in our creative thinking. I've put the question, “What do you see in your mind's eye when you think of the Fitzwilliam Museum” to five artists and writers, and this is the result. Author and playwright Ali Smith, fine artist and architect Issam Kourbaj, poet and Scottish Makar Jackie Kay, ceramicist and sculptor Halima Cassell and artists/curator Matt Smith; all responded with thought provoking choices and created new pieces of work in isolation.
  7. 00:01:28 - 00:01:36
    Carmen Pryce In each podcast, we learn about their different experiences of lock down in recordings, which had to be done remotely to comply with covid 19 regulations.
  8. 00:01:37 - 00:02:22
    Carmen Pryce We gained insight into their creativity in isolation, and learn about the ideas and processes behind their creative responses to the remembered artworks. The conversations share memories from the Scottish Highlands to Pakistan. We find out about soap production in Aleppo and how a 19th century drawing can be seen in the context of black lives matter. My creative challenge was to produce these podcasts without breaking the UK national guidelines and laws put in place to stem the spread of covid 19. The new normal during the pandemic means face to face encounters are out, so all the interviews have been done remotely. For me, that also meant researching, producing and editing everything sitting by myself at home alone, not something I'm used to
  9. 00:02:23 - 00:02:37
    Carmen Pryce And getting to grips with operating a virtual studio, which I've never done before. As we approach a winter of continued restrictions caused by the resurgence of covid 19 we invite you to listen to “In my mind's eye: The museum explored”,
  10. 00:02:37 - 00:02:38
    Carmen Pryce starts next week.
  11. 00:02:39 - 00:02:46
    Carmen Pryce You can also subscribe to Fitzwilliam Museum Podcasts and leave the scheduling to technology. Thanks for listening.
  12. 00:02:47 - 00:02:53
    Carmen Pryce More details about “In my Mind's eye” transcripts and photos can be found on the Fitzwilliam Museum website

  1. 00:02:54 - 00:03:09
    Carmen Pryce In my mind's eye is made possible by the support of the Belviedere Trust, the series was produced by me, Carmen Pryce, audio production by Nick Harris. Background music is "Call to Adventure" by Kevin McCloud and is licenced under the Creative Commons Agreement.

Object in focus

In My Mind's Eye: the museum explored
Series Producer: Carmen Pryce
Series Producer: Carmen Pryce

Carmen Pryce is a trained journalist and broadcaster. She worked for many years for ITV and the BBC as a presenter, reporter, TV producer and content producer on television, radio and online. Her credits include BBC News, Tomorrow’s World and BBC Radio 4 Science. She also presented several Open University maths series. 

In recent years Carmen has worked for the University as Editor of the Department of Chemistry’s alumni magazine Chem@Cam and in the press office of the Fitzwilliam Museum. In My Mind’s Eye: the museum explored, is her first foray into the world of podcasting.

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