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Listening to younger audiences’ perspectives on British Art Show 9

A dynamic group of young people were given the opportunity to produce an ‘alternative audio guide’ to British Art Show 9 (BAS9) and share their perspectives on visiting museums and galleries.

The Box and Barbican Theatre with Rising Arts worked with the group who met for two hours a week, over a five-week period whilst BAS9 was on display. Their audio guide took the form of a podcast where they could share their reaction to BAS9, talk about contemporary art in Plymouth and the accessibility of museums and galleries as a young audience.

They were posed a range of questions about whether they felt represented in BAS9, how they like to visit galleries, and who with. Further questions looked at how we could connect core and new audiences, and whether artwork should be overtly political or more subtle to make the space more accessible for all.

Through this approach, they explored all their own preferences and access needs in gallery spaces and thought of new and innovative ways galleries could accommodate young people.

Here are some of their reflections on gallery spaces now:

“I feel like it’s demystified them for me (in a good way) and made them more approachable. Additionally, it’s made me feel like being able to potentially have my own work in a gallery space is an achievable goal for myself.”

“It’s made me comfortable and more knowledgeable of what to do in a gallery space.”

“It’s made me appreciate the impact of audio on my experience of a gallery.”

“I feel more comfortable in gallery spaces now but recognise that the spaces can always evolve.”

During this process, the group visited The Box in their pyjamas – turning the galleries into a comfortable space to spend time and let thoughts and conversations grow. Have a listen to their thoughts and ideas, and let us know your ideas about what would make galleries a more comfortable space.

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