As the three year Footsteps into Art programme draws to a close, Lucy Cunningham, our Galleries Learning Intern, reflects on her work curating an exhibition which celebrates the creativity of the children who have taken part.
July sees my internship coming to a close and, after a wonderful year of working as Gallery Education Intern, what a perfect way to complete it with Footsteps into Art’s final year exhibition. Through my opportunity to curate the exhibition, I learnt to manage logistics of pieces and equipment, presentation of art-hangings and making the most of the space in which the artwork is displayed. The technical measurements throughout gallery exhibitions, and most aesthetically impactful ways to show work, are important factors that I can carry forward with me and apply to my own upcoming exhibitions. This will highly benefit my Degree Show next year and enable me to share these skills with my cohort. Footsteps has provided experiences that greatly enhance my academic development.
The exhibition saw teachers and visitors alike being very impressed by the variety of skills and techniques presented by the children through their work on show, with many saying how they “wished we all had such inspiring opportunities at school.” Through considered curation, each artwork had space to breathe, presenting a mature progression of the range of styles pupils had explored and clearly reflected the growing professionalism of pupils over the duration of Footsteps into Art. The use of display screens added another dimension that showcased works spanning the entire three-year project and heightened the exhibition’s interactive nature. They created the ability for visitors to click and choose what work to view creating a sense of involvement within the show.
Additionally, each display case depicted not only the end result of workshops but pieces of work or equipment which document the creative processes. This provides insight into how each piece was made, from the textural wax casts to vivid slide projections complete with a soundtrack of amazing noises. Through discussing these curatorial details with Claire (Galleries Learning Coordinator), I gained a deeper appreciation for curation and how it can create strong narratives. Without this active learning provided through Footsteps, I wouldn’t have grown in my interest for curation quite so much or come away with a more mature approach to exhibition accessibility, and how to bring a display to life!
You can see this stunning Footsteps into Art display in The Stanley & Audrey Burton Gallery Education Room until Saturday 1 September – come along and let us know what you think!