For the past 7 weeks, The Lightbox has welcomed a student from the University of Leicester to help assist the Marketing Department with their day-to-day tasks. About to enter into her final week with the team, Katherine wanted to share her experiences about her time at The Lightbox:

I’m Katherine, a Marketing Team intern at the Lightbox. I am currently doing Art Museum and Gallery Studies at the University of Leicester. The experience of visiting art exhibitions around the world, combined with my relevant education background made me realise my passion for museums and galleries, which could be a direction for my future career.

It’s such a meaningful opportunity for me to have a summer internship here, since the Lightbox has many highlights that appeal to me. Here I’ll share five of my favourite ones throughout the two months.

1. The Unique Building
One of the reasons why The Lightbox appeals to me is its architecture. The canal-side gallery was designed by Marks Barfield, the visionary architects behind the London Eye. I like the huge windows throughout the building, which provide an interior drenched with light. Various sculptures are displayed close to the windows, making the building more artistic and lively.

2. The Lovely Team of Volunteers
My first impression of the Lightbox was warm and friendly, highlighted by its volunteers – the best volunteer team I ever met at a museum. I remember that on my first visit, for my placement interview, a warm welcome from a volunteer made me feel much more relaxed. They always do their very best to provide an enjoyable visiting experience for everyone. We can easily find them at the entrances, in the galleries, helping out at workshops, or working on the sunny courtyard as well.

3. Art is Close to Everyone
I’ve been really lucky to spend my summertime here since lots of drop-in workshops and summer fun events have been organised throughout this period. I’ve captured some fantastic moments while taking photographs for them. The pictures below show a piece which was co-created by many different families during the Summer Fun Afternoon. I was so excited to see how those little creations finally became an amazing work sitting in the middle of the gallery. When I was taking pictures for this piece, a ray of light peaked through the window, the work has become a special part of the exhibition, in the context of art.


4. Woking’s history and heritage
The face of Woking has been rapidly changing in recent years, and The Lightbox, which is the first gallery and museum in the town, is the best place to collect its stories. The railway plays an important role in Woking’s development, fast railway connections being a major reason for people coming to live and work here. It takes me only 10 mins to commute from Guildford to Woking in the morning, and it’s so convenient for people to travel to other towns or cities around as well. With this in mind, it’s astonishing to think that there were only five trains per day in the early years when the railway just came here!

5. The Colourful Lightbox Shop
The shop showcases a carefully curated selection of locally-sourced arts, crafts, jewellery, books and gifts. It is meaningful that every purchase helps to support The Lightbox as an independent charity, and supports local artists, our gallery and the invaluable art projects we work on within the community.

One of my favourite products from the shop is a set of cups created by local artist Jane Drown. I pay special attention to ceramics since taking an art course during my first degree. Instead of traditional methods of making ceramics, artists use multiple materials and experimental approaches. Jane often incorporates paper to produce a fine, almost translucent vessel when fired. Some of her other works are fired with sawdust and seaweed to give random, smoky, patterns that enhance the traditional rounded vessels.

Doing an internship at the gallery is kind of a practical course, which helped me get an understanding of how a Marketing team engages more visitors, how a museum works with the collaboration of different teams, and how to gain experiences from other organisations.

I was lucky to witness the brand refresh of The Lightbox, which is looking forward to the next five years, and addressing The Lightbox’s philosophy – 'Art has the power to make you feel good'. I am always impressed by the care for visitors, community projects for people living with mental health issues and free drop-in workshops for families. Hopefully, I will come back and visit again soon.