Over a one-year period, over 80 young people from the London Borough of Richmond investigated the theme of journeys, creating work in response to the personal effects of explorer Sir Richard Burton, museum collections and international contemporary artists.
Working with artists Nathalie Palin and Rachel Craddock, Katherine Morling, Ross Sutherland and Eleanor Pile, they created poetry, ceramic pieces, textiles, paintings, drawings, installations, puppetry, printmaking and photographic work.
Participants researched the context of the Burton collection, visiting museums and galleries across London, including the October Gallery, British Museum, Leighton House, London Transport Museum and the Geographical Society. Young people explored the work of contemporary artists from countries visited by Burton, and participated in creative consultations to develop their ideas for the broader project series. Older participants took on roles as peer mentors and volunteers, supporting the curatorial and education teams at Orleans House Gallery. Young people’s work was exhibited at Orleans House Gallery, alongside collection pieces relating Burton’s expeditions, and the work of contemporary artists including Piyali Ghosh, Maha Malluh and Gerard Quenum.
Stories of the World: London is part of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World and is the largest youth engagement project ever undertaken by UK museums. The project is designed to give young people unique opportunities to work with museum staff – to explore, reinterpret and be inspired by museums collections, giving a new perspective on the stories that they tell us about our place in the world. In London, the project is led by Renaissance London. It culminates in four major exhibitions in 2012 at the lead museums of Museum of London, Geffrye Museum, Horniman Museum and London Transport Museum.
As part of Stories of the World, the Journeys projects were supported by Renaissance, the Heritage Lottery Fund, the Youth Opportunities Fund and the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames.