Fresh perspectives on cultural treasures from the cleaners who look after them.
In every museum and gallery, behind the scenes teams look after our national collections. They have an intimate knowledge of the buildings and collections they look after, yet their opinions are rarely sought.
Artist Eloise Moody has been working closely with nine people across the United Kingdom tasked with keeping their respective museums, galleries and collections clean. Every sound you hear in this programme – from brushes sweeping to each word and sigh – was collected and recorded by the Caretakers themselves. This series offers a rare chance to perch invisibly on the shoulders of these exceptional guides, noticing what they stop to consider as they go about their work.
Keeping Titanic Belfast shipshape is Jackie, a native of the city. Whilst cleaning the cabins, she considers extraordinary moments in the life of the ship – and the city that created it.
Andy was a traffic warden who found a new life working in outdoor maintenance at Yorkshire Sculpture Park. In between cleaning the sculptures, mowing the lawns, and emptying the bins, he finds quiet moments to reflect on the previous lives of the park.
June, is a cleaner at the Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art (MIMA). Whilst buffing the floors, she takes a closer look at a series of photographs that transport her back to her teenage self.
Producer: Eloise Moody
Producer and Editor: Emma Barnaby
Executive Producer: Anishka Sharma
A Whistledown production for BBC Radio 4