During 2012 Engage Cymru piloted two approaches to working with young adult carers with the National Museum Cardiff and Oriel Davies, Newtown, as part of a wider focus on increasing opportunities for young people to engage with galleries and the visual arts.
This is a new area of practice aimed at a community of young people who are often ignored and who do not always have access to the same opportunities of others in their age group.
At Oriel Davies, Newtown, young carers worked with artist Blue MacAskill and Education Officer Clare Martin on a range of participatory and interpretive activities. These included creating their own miniature installations after working with artist Antonia Dewhurst during her Ty Unnos residency and engaging with artists at the Real Time Analogue Web Portal project hosted by Oriel Davies. They also spent time developing their drawing skills through attending life drawing classes and working with Blue in her studio.
At the National Museum Cardiff, young adult carers worked alongside BAFTA award-winning artist animator, Gerald Conn of Gritty Realism, to bring paintings in the gallery’s collection to life through their own interpretation of the stories behind the artworks. The project was inspired by the Animating Art Histories participation programme at the Courtauld Institute of Art and University of Arts London. The making of the films involved weeks of learning a range of new skills, including digital editing, model making and drawn animation.
Animation is something I’ve always dreamed of learning, and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with someone as engaging and supportive as Gerald. Being able to produce my own animation has given me the confidence to learn new skills and (hopefully!) start working towards a few more dreams. I am very excited about seeing my work in the museum. Thank you again, so much, for this opportunity!Participant, Young Adult Carers project, 2012