Each August, we offer a Summer School opportunity at National Maritime Museum. This is a chance for young people to come and learn more about the Museum, the Collection and be creative. They take part in lots of workshops and have the opportunity to gain a Bronze Arts Award.
Earlier this year, Youth Advisor and Summer School graduate, Matthew Jordan, worked with the Arts Award and Culture Street to make a short film about the Arts Award at National Maritime Museum. Check it out here…
Today we worked on our Trade of Opinions project, learning more about the Museum with specialists and creating poems and short written pieces inspired by the stories in the Collection. Today’s theme was ‘Environment’ and we learnt about Sir John Franklin and the quest for the North-West Passage.
We met Senior Exhibitions Curator, Claire Warrior, to learn more about the story, and worked with creative writer, Shez, to make our own stories.
We interviewed Claire. She told us the news about HMS Terror being discovered and explained the politics and the environmental situation in the Arctic, Matthew Jordan and India
We looked at artefacts from the Franklin display in Voyagers and decided to look at the human aspect of the artefacts, Isobel
We then went to the Caird Library to look at some original letters and documents. We saw the last message Franklin wrote, saying ‘All Well’ which was then updated with news of his death. We also saw letters showing the decline into madness some of the men suffered, with one writing everything backwards and some writing in circles.
I enjoyed looking at the old original documents as it’s the only bits of evidence we have of what happened, Hannah
Youth Advisor, Adrian, shares what we got up to in today’s meeting:
Today we welcomed new members to the group. It was nice meeting everyone and I hope everyone felt instantly at home and comfortable. We now have a Youth Advisor from each corner of London which is great for us to be able to promote our goal to encourage young people to attend the museum. After the introductions, we reflected on past achievements of the group and action planned for the future. The meeting concluded with exclusive entry to a new exhibition in the museum. (Just one of the perks of being a member!)
By tradition, we played “The big wind blows” which instantly broke any ice and allowed the group to bond together. We also learnt about one another which was followed by a memory game to test what features we could remember about each other.
On Saturday, eleven Youth Advisors supported the Museum’s annual International Slavery Remembrance Day commemorations. We supported workshops, including an object handling session ran by artist Jean Campbell, and we also got to go to lots of activities, including a lecture about Africans in Tudor Britain by Onyeka, a gallery tour of The Atlantic: Slavery, Trade, Empire led by Formal Learning Officer Lucie Trottman and a tour of Traders led by historian S.I. Martin. After the Songs of Freedom singing workshop, led by Ethnovox, we attended the Closing Ceremony by the Thames.
‘We did a tour of the Atlantic Gallery with Lucie. It was really awesome. It was very audience involved’, Isobel
‘I learnt that there was a really big manila that was worth someone’s life, so you could buy someone with that one piece of jewellery’, Shezara
During August, we’ve welcomed 13 young people to the Museum for a Bronze Arts Awards accredited Summer School, looking at how museums tell stories. We worked with curators Quintin Colville, Richard Dunn and Heloise Finch-Boyer, Archive Learning Officer Tracey Weller and writers Izara B and Paul Sherreard to explore the Museum’s collection and make creative responses. And, of course, the Youth Advisors were here to welcome them!
Here are some of our highlights…
Today we worked with The Great Map project manager, Jennifer Ross, to learn more about the digital projects inspired by our huge map of the world. We played one of the games, finding treasure all around the map. We then thought about ideas of games for young people like us. We worked with writers Paul Sherreard and Tom Banks to make our own nano fiction stories and we were inspired by these to make Vine videos. Phew, it was a packed day!
Today was our second workshop with Spoken Word Artist Izara B. We reflected on the objects we’d found last time in Nelson, Navy, Nation and then worked with Izara to refine and perform our spoken word pieces. Today was also the Caird Library Open Day and so we got to meet some of the Archives team to see original letters from the Georgian Navy.
We had our first workshop with Izara B, spoken word artist. Izara worked with the Youth Advisors to create their own responses to the collection and being a young person at National Maritime Museum. We toured Nelson, Navy, Nation with Curator of Naval History, James Davey to learn about what the different themes are and to choose an object we can use for inspiration. The Youth Advisors were really inspired by the different forms of communication and how sailors shared their experiences with loved ones. We were interested in love tokens, letters home and Nelson’s gifts to his daughter, Nelson’s writing set and the ship’s biscuits.
We started thinking about the Sea and had an introduction to the new YAG project in this meeting. The Youth Advisors will work together to produce an audio guide aimed at other young people sharing stories from the Museum’s main themes.
In this meeting we started thinking about the first theme, which is the Royal Navy. The Youth Advisors explored Nelson, Navy, Nation and used gallery floorplans to note what they were interested in and what was inspiring.
The Museum’s new Re:Think space has opened and the Youth Advisors were the first group invited in use it. Working with artist in residence, Maria Amidu, the Youth Advisors met with the Asian Senior Citizen Club group to learn more about how the space will work and had a play. We also met with Exhibitions Interpretation Curator Hannah Kay to learn more about how the Museum tells stories and writes labels for the objects it displays. The Re:Think space features Yinka Shonibare’s Nelson’s Ship in a Bottle and is designed to be a space for conversation, learning and participantion to understand and share the artwork and it’s themes.