Last week I visited a special place at the Airforce Museum – it is called the Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre. The name is quite a mouthful, but to put it simply this is a place for local museums and other organisations to store and repair their collections.
Moya Sherriff is an intern at the CCCRC. She has been doing some excellent blog posts summarising the work and progress of the Centre:
In November 2011, the Air Force Museum started construction on a new building development, to create an extension for the exhibition, restoration and conservation spaces of the large object collections.
The role of the CCCRC is to provide a free space for those cultural organisations within Canterbury who have either lost their premises due to the earthquakes or are in need of temporary collection storage while their buildings are going through the EQC repair process. Each group has been given a designated storage area within the Recovery Centre and a shared workspace where organisations can re-group, assess the consequences and needs of collections and begin the processes of documentation, cataloguing and boxing, while having access to conservation treatments.
The work being done is important. The collections are being catalogued, reorganised, and repaired. Networks are being forged, workers are gaining new skills and knowledge, and this project is a model of cooperation and collaboration.
Canterbury Cultural Collections Recovery Centre timeline
There is nothing particularly remarkable about the way Lisa Genova writes, but for some reason I couldn’t put her novel Left Neglected down. My life is nothing like the main character’s: I’m not married; I don’t have any children; I’m not especially career driven, nor do I dream about having a big house in the suburbs; and my brain doesn’t ignore information on the left side of the world. Yet I was completely and utterly engrossed in Sarah Nickerson’s journey to recovery from a traumatic brain injury.
I had never heard of the fascinating neurological syndrome Left Neglect until I picked up this book, but apparently it’s quite common. Lisa Genova has a PhD in neuroscience and obviously did extensive research on the syndrome in order to write about it.
I found myself covering my left eye at times to try to understand what it would be like to think that the left side of the page I am reading or the food on the left side of my plate doesn’t exist because my brain can’t register it. I tried to imagine not being able to feel my left arm or leg, as if these limbs were separate from the rest of me, as if they belonged to someone else entirely.
It was Jodi Picoult’s rave review printed on the cover of Left Neglected that made me want to read this book. I’m glad I did. While there are many differences between Sarah and I, there is one key experience I could relate to, and this is what I loved most about her story: I understand what it’s like to have your life changed forever in an instant; everything you have to adjust to and adjust within yourself as a result; and how, no matter what difficulties you must now face, you can always find the hidden blessing if you allow yourself to really look.
What books have you picked up just because another author you like has recommended it? Did you agree with their praise?
All sorts of people are popping up with ideas about the “new” Christchurch. Some are local, some are national and some are international commentators. As a resident and citizen of Christchurch you might still be in the stunned mullet stage of coming to grips with the new normal. But if you are already thinking about what you want to see happen in your city there are a number of places where you can share ideas.
One of the casualties of the quake was the Before After lecture series and display at the Christchurch Art Gallery but still has some interesting ideas and comments.
If you want to do some reading check out our Urban Design resources. If you are thinking about what kind of houses we might build then I think Kevin McCloud’s 43 principles of home is a great place to start.