Glasgow Life / Glasgow Museums
The Burrell Collection in Pollok Country Park, which houses the 9,000-object Collection of Sir William Burrell, reopened in March 2022 following a major refurbishment and redisplay. Our aim for The Burrell Collection’s redevelopment was to create the most accessible and inclusive fine and decorative arts museum in the world, and in doing so, reaching new audiences who don’t see the museum as ‘for them’. Unique, experiential digital interpretation of the Collection plays a defining role in achieving these aims, and is central to the visitor experience at Burrell. We understand that audiences expect increasingly sophisticated interpretation of our collections. In response to this, we’ve crafted over 100 world-class digital interpretation that give context and meaning to the Collection on a scale and to a quality previously unseen with decorative and fine art collections – including large-scale immersive digital experiences, short films and interactive games, alongside a suite of ‘tactile’ models and labels. The visitor experience at Burrell can be both dramatic and breath-taking, as well more personal and intimate. We use a suite of interpretive methods to tell people about the objects in the museum, where they came from, what they were used for, who made them – in a way that is relevant to our visitors. We do this by offering contemporary reference points and by ‘peopling’ films, interactive and projections with relatable characters and environments. Content on screens and projections, in contrast to approaches in museums elsewhere, isn’t populated with ‘information’: expert talking-heads, or Wikipedia-like repositories of archive content. We understand that this type of content is widely available to visitors online. Instead, we offer unique, site-specific experiences that are woven seamlessly in to the museum visit. Content is visually led, personable, revealing, stimulating. Extensive, iterative testing of concepts, narratives and imagery with our target audiences has played a core role in the success of Digital at Burrell. Through this, we’ve developed a very successful approach to crafting intuitive and unique Digital experiences that engage and enlighten - each piece has been designed as an experience that is relevant and meaningful and fosters within visitors an intellectual, emotional and even physical connection to the Collection. Extensive, independent evaluation of the visitor experience has shown us that one of the greatest strengths of the museum lies in the variety of Digital offer – and its ability to support a relaxed and welcoming atmosphere for all visitors in the venue.