V&A Colour Space in the Gilbert Collection of gold and silver miniature boxes – November and December 2016
As part of our Re-imagine programme Lemos&Crane have been organizing and delivering projects with leading arts organisations, museums and galleries for adults with learning disabilities since September 2015. Projects have so far been organized with the National Gallery, LSO and the V&A. We also have projects planned for 2017 with Tate Exchange. Lemos&Crane are founding associates of Tate Exchange. All these projects are featured on our website.
On 29 November 2016, at the Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) the latest in Lemos&Crane’s series of Re-imagine projects got underway. This was the second in a series of Colour Space projects we have been running with the V&A. The project is 3 workshops over 3 weeks for adults with learning disabilities and their supporters. A diverse group of 15 participants and their supporters from all over London were recruited from Lemos&Crane's network of member organisations working in supported housing and social care (that included National Autistic Society, St Joseph's Day Centre, The Grange, Redstart Arts, L'Arche, Yarrow, Look Ahead, Phoenix and Norwood).
The programme, designed and facilitated by independent actor performer and movement therapist Tania Batzoglou, uses the Gilbert Collection of precious gold and silver small boxes made in the 18th and early 19th century, as its starting point.
For many participants this was their first encounter with a museum collection, and one of our objectives is to support newcomers to museums to feel they own public spaces as much as anybody else. Focusing on a few small, beautiful objects is made fun by the use of tablets, which act both as magnifiers and cameras. Each participant made photos of 3 or 4 of their favourite objects. The photos will be viewed on a big screen next week, when the discussion of using boxes and pockets for items that are personal and important to individuals will form a jumping off point for further engagement and interaction with the collection. The images will also be edited, collated and curated into a creative output from the project (see Re-imagine Arts on flickr). The smiles, laughter and active involvement showed that everyone got something from the day and looked forward to their next encounter with Tania and the treasures of the V&A. They have also begun a journey of creative appreciation and expression.
We are interested in the importance of objects and materials, as well as images, in people’s lives and the use of tablet photography allows us both to record and reflect on our own creative process, as well as build a body of work, which we will be share and disseminate digitally, made by self-taught artists, new both to the practice of creativity and to the idea of themselves as artists.