Barbican Youth Panel members Glenys Johnson and Eloise Poulton talk about their time on the panel so far and give details of the Barbican Youth Panel’s first project, entitled Boom House.
After an incredibly popular application process, the first Barbican Youth Panel was formed in September 2017. Comprised of thirteen young people from across London, the panel marks the first of its kind for the Barbican. The diverse range of panel members all share a passion for the arts, with specialities ranging from the performing arts and cinema to visual arts and music.
The purpose of the panel is to support the Barbican’s vision of inclusivity and diversity, share opinions on various aspects of the Barbican functions and assist in delivering projects across all art forms.
Through sharing our views on creativity and access to the arts in a room in which everyone’s voice is heard, we hope to have an impact on how the Barbican perceives and involves young people across programming, events and engagement.
‘We feel that it’s important for arts centres to provide space for audiences to reflect on the work that they produce’
The first project that we have taken on is one designed to promote audience engagement with the Barbican’s Basquiat: Boom For Real exhibition. We’ve worked alongside various departments across the Barbican to create the Boom House installation, forming a wood and polycarbonate structure which will sit in the foyers on Level G, inviting visitors to share their experience of the Basquiat exhibit through a range of offered mediums, including designing postcards not dissimilar to the ones Basquiat worked with. We did this because we feel that it’s important for arts centres to provide space for audiences to reflect on the work that they produce and to be part of a broader conversation about art and culture.
We believe that for the voices of young people to be encouraged and supported to engage with the arts and make their own work, there must be the resources and the commitment to creating a dialogue with them right now. From our very first meeting, it became apparent that we have a mutual desire to improve access to the arts for groups which are marginalised for purely circumstantial reasons, whether because of gender, race, class, sexuality or disability or myriad other reasons.
Within the panel, we are from a range of backgrounds, hence our varied disciplines and approaches make for a conversation which is both balanced and challenging. The Barbican is listening to young voices, but we are interested in this having a longevity which outlasts us, and which permeates the city more widely.
Stay tuned for more info on our projects and movements.
Our Youth Panel helps to ensure that young people’s ideas and opinions are brought into conversations, projects and events across the Barbican.
Part of The Art of Change, our 2018 annual theme which explores how the arts respond to, reflect and potentially effect change in the social and political landscape.