Young Curators, Digital Design & The Living Archive

A History

‘Young Curators, Digital Design & the Living Archive’ arises from a conversation with diverse communities of young people spanning several years relating to a perceived difficulty in accessing arts and cultural institutions as audiences and arts practitioners.

Pivotal Arts Studio (previously FOMACS) and the Chester Beatty Library – who house a collection of manuscripts, miniature paintings, prints, drawings, rare books and decorative arts dating back to 2700 BC – are allied in their commitment to bringing new audiences into the museum’s gallery space as both visitors and participants. We see this project as a ‘Wellcome‘ opportunity to realise a shared goal, instigating a creative process in which 6 young people take the lead.

Pivotal Arts Studio and the Chester Beatty Library are allied in their commitment to bringing new audiences into the museum’s gallery space as both visitors and participants

It is worth emphasizing that increased access to cultural institutions, such as museums and galleries, coupled with extended, long-term opportunities for public education in connection with these spaces is a great enhancer of vitality and creativity in community life and civil society.

‘Young Curators’ pioneers a creative arts module encouraging young people to explore the growing interplay between visual arts curation and new media skills in the creation of a group exhibit marrying creative practice and digital design.

Building on ‘China Through the Lens of John Thomson’, a Wellcome Trust photographic exhibition of 19th century Chinese men, women & children, participants are encouraged to align the practices of writing, documentary photography and self-portraiture with the opportunities afforded by new digital platforms to contextualise, transform and display images in a networked culture.

A Marriage of Convenience – When ‘Old’ Met New Media

We felt that the complementary focus on traditional, predominantly photography, and new media arts practice reflects the ease and extent to which today’s generation of young people move between these spheres. As part of a process of developing an existing and/or emergent arts practice, participants have the opportunity to acquire/consolidate both creative and research skills and methods.

Mentoring towards the completion of a group exhibit occurring at points throughout an extended period was designed to ensure content produced during the workshops would be developed for an exhibition that is as innovative at the level of content as display. We're sure you'll agree that the proof is in the pudding!

Project Team

Aileen BlaneyCreative Producer

Áine O'Brien Creative Director

Jenny Siung Education Curator

Roberta McGrath Workshop Leader

Roshini Kempadoo Workshop Leader

Val Bogan Post-production Editor

Tiedong Yang Mandarin Translator

Igor Kochajkiewicz Web Design, Workshop Tutor


Aileen Blaney

Val Bogan

Alan Grossman

Moira Sweeney

Derek Speirs

Tiedong Yang

Case Study

Ailbhe Murphy

Ciaran Smyth

Vagabond Reviews