Wednesday, 16 March 2011

'Reduction' Exhibition - Broadcasting House, Leeds

A group of 16-19 year-olds curate their own exhibition at Leeds Met Gallery & Studio Theatre

We love the arts. Where would we be without our rich culture of art in the city of Leeds? That’s why we like to see it being supported by people with great ideas and projects – whether it’s fighting the cuts or encouraging a new generation to not only make art but be the brains behind fantastic and inspiring exhibitions.

There’s a project at Leeds Met Gallery & Studio Theatre that’s particularly inspiring. It’s called Young Curators and, as the name suggests, its aim is to give young people, aged between 16 and 19, a practical introduction into how to curate art exhibitions.

Following nine months of gallery visits, conversations with curators, arts professionals and each other, the young curators – Ana, Baptista, Harry van de Bospoort, Livvy Murdoch, Annie Prosho and Kizzy Strodder – host reduction: an exhibition of selected work by artists they find particularly exciting or relevant.

The reduction exhibition runs until 25th March. Part of the young curators’ inspiration was their concerns about the potential erosion of the art scene. As a result, they selected works reflecting themes of commercialism and value and loss, including pieces by Greta Alfaro, Indya Mealing, Kiwoun Shin, Elizabeth West, Katherine Johnson and Stacey Allen.

Shelley Hollingdrake explains: “For the project we piloted a commissioning process by which artists submitted work in response to a theme set by the Young Curators. Not only have the Young Curators risen to the challenge of creating a thought-provoking and intelligent exhibition, they have echoed the call to arms set by the art world in trying to preserve and save the arts.”

This is the second year the project has taken place. In 2008 six young people from Leeds took part in the Gallery’s pilot project of Young Curators. Over nine months they visited exhibitions including the Liverpool Biennial, created a brand with a professional brand manager, selected works form the Arts Council Collection and hosted events as part of their own exhibition at Leeds Met Gallery.

The majority have since gone on to pursue Higher Education studies in arts practices from architecture to fine art and curating. They have also since returned to the course to mentor the new batch of Young Curators, talking to them directly about the benefits of the project and how it changed their outlook.

“The hope is that reduction will be a catalyst for debate and offer the viewer a chance for reflection on the current state of affairs our country finds itself in.”

Until 25 March, Concourse Gallery, Broadcasting Place, Leeds Metropolitan University, LS2 9EN;

Posted on Monday 28th February 2011

Leeds Met Gallery & Studio Theatre

G12 Northern Terrace, Leeds Metropolitan University, Queens Square Court, Leeds, LS2 8AG

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