This blog series gives you a chance to find out a little more about the people behind the desk at Wellcome Collection, the team of artists, academics, musicians, researchers, comedians and more. Among many other things, they invigilate galleries; write and provide tours and “busking” sessions; they work on exhibitions, events and special projects; and they offer information and guidance to our visitors every day. It’s all in a day’s work for our VEAs, so come and meet the team.
Rock Webb introduces Daniela Vasco, one of our Visitor Experience Assistant (VEA) team members bringing the galleries and exhibitions to life.
The last time out you met me so now it’s my turn to interview one of my team members. Daniela, hailing from Portugal, started working at Wellcome Collection around the same time as me last year.
Let’s begin by finding out about her interests: “I have a visual arts background, so I like to talk about subjects that allow me to question how we see the things around us, our mechanisms of perception and how we construct our visual identity.” Her favourite artefacts in the collection, the glass eyes, are an ideal starting point for a discussion on this topic: “perfectly illustrating the idea that objects can be empowering.”
Of course, Daniela likes to visit other museums and galleries too. She was impressed by the recent Subotzky & Waterhouse: Ponte City at the Photographers’ Gallery, a visual story which she notes is “an amazing insight in how community, architecture, media and political issues are intertwined.”
When not working in the galleries or conducting a tour, she can be found in the office eating nuts. Or working on some interesting projects. This year, Daniela made an important contribution to the Neil Bartlett installation WOULD YOU MIND?. This in-gallery sex survey was a popular feature in The Institute of Sexology exhibition. As part of a small team processing the surveys, I asked her if she found it an interesting project to be involved in: “it was sometimes revealing, sometimes funny and sometimes upsetting.” Get a behind-the-scenes look at the project.
If Daniela is not working or visiting a gallery, she likes to be outside, weather permitting. “If I am lucky enough and the sun is out, so am I!” She particularly loves gardening. Otherwise, she’ll probably be watching a film somewhere: silent movies, Italian films, Japanese cinema. Having recently visited Zurich, she is hoping to do a lot more travel by exploring Europe and then maybe even further afield.
Finally, I want to know who Daniela is going to interview. “Anna, because I want to choose someone who is as uncomfortable as me when having to talk about herself!”
Rock is a Visitor Experience Assistant at Wellcome Collection.