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As part of Volunteer Week 2015, we get to know Gallery Steward, Emma Midgall, in this week's blog.

Please tell us a little about yourself

I recently graduated from Warwick University with a degree in German and Film. I’m interested in art and creative media such as collaging and have recently produced a set of quarterly zines. Working part time at Waterstones allows me to bake and eat cakes, ride my bike and hang out with my dog, Cindy.
Why did you choose to volunteer at Jerwood Gallery?

I’ve always loved visiting Jerwood Gallery and jumped at the opportunity to take a more active role by becoming a volunteer.
How have you found the experience so far?

I am really enjoying volunteering. I like the atmosphere; everyone is friendly. It’s a lovely place to be to enjoy the artwork and the surroundings.
What have you enjoyed the most?

It’s interesting talking to visitors and other volunteers about the paintings, finding out which ones are their favourites and discussing the collection with them. Talking with different people, you discover new insights and perspectives about various pieces which is really enriching. 

Do you have a favourite piece in the Jerwood Collection?

My favourite is probably Patrick Millard's, Portrait of John Minton with a violin, 1939. I find his slightly wry expression offset by the warmth and tonality of the painting. John Minton was a student of Millards and I often wonder what he was thinking when he sat for him.
Can you tell us something new you have learnt since volunteering at Jerwood Gallery?

I have learnt a lot about the contexts and narratives surrounding the paintings which adds a richer appreciation and understanding of the works.
01 June, 2015
Written by Emma Midgall