Children Take the Lead

Researching with local children and their families how to help new visitors enjoy contemporary art

Which way to go? What do we do?
What does it mean? What if I don’t like it or understand?

Visiting contemporary art galleries can be difficult especially if you feel you ought to understand or like what you’re looking at. Children don’t seem to suffer from these anxieties. We’d like to find out how to explore contemporary art through a child’s eyes.

Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination (CCI) believe that children are the most implacable enemies of boredom. They are full-time researchers, untiring makers of actions, ideas and theories. They are born strong, interested, capable and curious and will show us what they are thinking in many ways – they move, draw, paint, build, act, sing – they use ‘100 languages’. So in Children Take the Lead, CCI will be letting them take the lead in finding out about contemporary art.

CCI have been awarded a Grants for Arts Award to run an innovative research programme with clusters of Cambridgeshire children and their families. Working in partnership with Wysing Arts Centre and Kettle’s Yard Gallery, CCI artists will explore alongside groups of young researchers to discover how to help other families enjoy visiting these contemporary art galleries.

By inviting them to take the creative lead through a programme of workshops and linked events, CCI artists will enable the children and their families to offer us the world of these contemporary art galleries as seen through their eyes. Through their responses, discovered through words, images, movement and discussion, we believe we can all re-enter the joy of a world full of the fascinations and possibilities that we once knew as children too.

Inspired by these creative responses and imaginings, CCI will then develop new family-friendly resources for both galleries to support encouraging new family visitors to two of the UK’s leading contemporary arts organisations.

Our partner schools for this phase of the project are  Spinney Primary School (Cambridge) and The Vine Primary School (Cambourne).

Project Team: Idit Nathan (Lead Artist), Ruth Sapsed (Director for Cambridge Curiosity and Imagination) with Artists Helen Stratford and Townley & Bradby.


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