Jose Forrest Tennant: resilience

Transformers case study
José Forrest-Tennant’s Transformers project idea was a period of R&D to develop best practice ideas, working with partners to devise ways of embedding digital within a community engagement programme relevant to Wolverhampton Art Gallery’s Black Art Collection.

Forrest-Tennant was inspired to create radical change for organisational development relevant to specific audience’s needs. In order to make this happen, she pitched for micro-funding to support her attendance on a Curating Art After New Media course and was successful in match funding this with the Art Fund Jonathan Ruffer curatorial grant.

The project was very challenging. Like many organisations, Wolverhampton Art Gallery was going through a period of restructure and cuts. Partners (other museums) initially eager to be involved had suffered the same and this impacted on the momentum of the project.

Despite the challenging circumstances, through Forrest-Tennant’s Transformers project, the organisation developed session plans incorporating the Black Art collection in their offer to schools and they are currently in talks with two universities to develop a module within their MA art history courses and an online digital platform as a promotional and learning tool.

Forrest-Tennant’s learning enabled her to develop digital interactive tools that can be taken out to communities to offer an immersive experience for audiences.

In addition, Forrest-Tennant benefited greatly from her involvement in Transformers.

"In regards my own professional development – I learned that I am a leader – that my ideas are valid," she said.

"Peer-led discussion at the residentials was really useful for this – we all seemed to be coming from a level playing field regardless of our level of responsibilities or standing within our prospective organisations – there was no judgement."