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The Young Curators: Nicole Gilmore

March 19, 2024

In 2023, six fantastic early-career creatives took part in a paid development programme and brought a fresh perspective to the heritage of Moseley Road Bath’s with a brand-new digital experience

The final outcome of the project was an innovative podcast called Bathcasts. In each episode, comedian Rachel Baker interviews someone connected to Moseley Road Baths while they take a bath in one of our Edwardian Slipper Bath cubicles. The six-part series also features specially commissioned poetry, spoken word, music and guided meditations. After launching in November with a special night featuring live performances and a bath-shaped cake, the podcast is now available to listen to on Spotify.

As the project came to an end, we caught up with each of our Young Curators about their experience working on this unique collaboration and how it has impacted their plans for the future. First up, charity worker Nicole Gilmore…

Hi Nicole! Let’s start with a round of fun, quick-fire questions. 

Would you rather have a shower, take a bath or go for a swim?

A swim for fun but a shower for washing. I wouldn’t want to bathe in a pool.

Bubbles, a rubber duck or both?

Bubbles. And candles too. 

Hot water, cold water or somewhere in between?

Closer to hot but no scolding.

A podcast, music or an audiobook?

Music. What kind depends on the day. I like Latin and soul vibes.

A samosa, chips or a slice of cake?

A samosa. I could be convinced by a piece of cake depending on what flavour.

Moving on to some bigger questions, who is an you have admired recently?

I recently went to an exhibition by Soheila Sokhanvari, an Iranian-British visual artist. She creates tableaus in the traditional form about women who have rebelled against the social norm. Her work gives a voice to those who have previously not been given the exposure and opportunity to speak out. 

Where is your favourite place in Birmingham?

On my walk to work, there is a random corner of St Mary’s Street in Balsall Heath which I like. It’s at the top of a hill so you can see the city in the background, the sun catches it just right and there are a few flower boxes which grow daffodils. The spot might look like nothing to a lot of people but I love it. When I first moved to Birmingham, I used to walk past it and get excited about being on a new adventure in a big city.

If you could put on any event in Moseley Road Baths, what would it be?

I work with refugees and asylum seekers and I’d love to explore telling the story of immigration journeys in a new way. I think mosaic could be a really good medium for this as creating something with lots of little pieces is a nice metaphor for combining lots of different stories. Maybe we could turn the bottom of the Gala Pool into a giant mosaic…

Are there any other buildings in Birmingham you would like to see renovated?

There are loads of empty office blocks between the Lidl in Balsall Heath and Moseley high street. They are way too big to be going unused. It would be nice to see them used for community projects (of course, I’m always going to say something to do with refugees and asylum seekers) or even just as homes for people who need them.

What is your favourite part of Moseley Road Baths?

The arches over the empty Gala Pool are really beautiful. And I like the stairs on the way up to the Manager’s Flat. The wooden windows, the coloured glass, the plants, the tiles – it’s such a pretty spot!

How did you find out about the Young Curators? And what interested you about the opportunity?

I’ve lived in Balsall Heath for two years and have connected with lots of local community-building projects through my work during that time. It is always interesting to learn about the history of the area and the projects that come out of it. For example, I work in a building that is in the centre of what used to be the red light district on a project that came out of supporting sex workers.

At the beginning of last year, I had been telling my friend all about how interesting I found the history of Balsall Heath. She then saw that Moseley Road Baths were looking for Young Curators and sent me the opportunity because it matched with part of our conversation. It was definitely the community-building aspect of the project which appealed to me most. 

What was the most impactful lesson you learnt during the project?

It’s hard to pinpoint just one! One thing I learnt was the importance of listening to people and not trying to force an idea. Build a project around people, not people around a project. It’s about leaving space for people to add their own interpretation and take ownership of a project.

What are you most proud of from your time as Young Curator?

I really enjoyed the Bathcasts launch event. The Young Curators have gelled so well as a team and we all felt proud of the podcast that night. The relationships we built within the team were an overall highlight. It’s cool to get to know people who are completely outside your circle. I learnt so much from all of them. 

What do you hope the legacy of the project will be?

It would be nice if people used the podcast as a way of connecting with Moseley Road Baths and learning about the history of the local area. Hopefully, it will encourage people to visit the building when it reopens too!

Finally, what are your plans for the future?

I’d like to work on more arts and heritage projects. One of the things I do within my work is plan group activities for women and it would be cool to incorporate some fun arts and crafts into that.

In a wider sense, I am planning to quit one of my jobs and explore taking on some more freelance work. Hopefully I can get involved in some more community-building projects through this. I had never really considered workshop facilitation as a career option before getting involved with the Young Curators so it has been nice to discover that possibility.

Follow Nicole Gilmore: LinkedIn

The Young Curators project is funded by the National Lottery Heritage Fund

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