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…
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.
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.
At today’s Youth Advisors meeting, we reflected back over the last time we met on our Meet the Museum day, discussed how to put the experience of YAG on CVs and personal statements and met with members of the Visitor Experience team on the Great Map to find out what they are looking at doing to engage young foreign visitors. We also discussed ideas for this year’s summer school programme, looking at the possibility of developing our own audio guides and looking at the different ways we can tell stories through the use of spoken word, soundscapes and alternative narratives. We ended the meeting by heading over to the Queen’s House to test out the audio guides available there and talking about how we could change the format to make the narrative more interesting and appealing to young people.
It was our last YAG meeting of 2013! We visited Turner & the Sea exhibition and had the YAG meeting in the Royal Observatory Greenwich, and saw a Planetarium show. We reflected on 2013 and looked forward to 2014.
Youth Advisors Thu and Terri share what we got up to…
When visiting Turner & the Sea exhibition, I was overwhelmed by the excitement of visiting a new exhibition that was different. One of my favourite paintings was the Battle of Trafalgar and a blue sunset. This was because these two paintings sand out from the others and I thought the textures on both were amazing. It was quite good because there were paintings that showed unfinished work with vivid colours.
After the Turner & the Sea exhibition, we had a 5 minute break and then we went to the Planetarium to see a show called The Sky Tonight: Christmas Stars and it was about the sky and what to look for in it. I thought the show was spectacular!
Some of the Youth Advisors were invited to see Yinka Shonibare in Conversation at National Maritime Museum. Art curator, Melanie Vandenbrouck chatted with Yinka, learning about his work and practice. She asked about the significance of his work coming to Greenwich, and Yinka talked about how we are a mixed population due to Britain’s maritime power. He wants to link between personal identities and history and how our personal destinies have been shaped by what other people did in the past.