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  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury
  • Pioneering Places takeover day at Turner Contemporary. Photography by John Sainsbury

To celebrate Universal Children’s Day, Turner Contemporary held a child-led takeover day as part of Pioneering Places East Kent.

60 Young Arts and Heritage Leaders, aged 7 to 9, directed artists to create their visions for Ramsgate before visitors’ eyes, designed a special menu for the café and built impressive structures using their choice of materials. One of the Young Arts and Heritage Leaders remarked: “I wish I could come to Turner Contemporary every day – I can explore my ideas here! I like making art better than any other subject."

Pioneering Places East Kent is integral to Turner Contemporary's Programme. As part of the national Great Place scheme, the gallery is working with 60 children, aged 7 to 9, from Ramsgate Arts Primary and St Laurence’s Junior Academy and inspiring them to take the lead and have a transformative impact in their local community. 

The Young Arts and Heritage Leaders will explore Ramsgate’s rich history with artists and heritage researchers, whom they recruited and respond creatively. They will lead the project until its conclusion in 2020, collaborating with Turner Prize winning collective, Assemble, on a Child-Led Plan for Ramsgate, and commissioning a major new artwork to be installed near the Harbour.

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Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and Visitor Experience said:

 "Today the atmosphere at Turner Contemporary has been electric. The Young Arts and Heritage Leaders took over the galleries with creativity and imagination and transformed the space in ways that we could never have predicted. They have tremendous capacity to inspire all of us and create great places. At a time when the Kids Rights Index, which ranks how countries improve children's rights, revealed that the UK's current global ranking is 173 out of 182 countries, and over 4.5million children in the UK live in poverty, this work has never been more important. Giving children the opportunity to take the lead and be creative is proven to enhance their wellbeing, their confidence and their listening and speaking skills. It is an integral part of the work we are doing with our community and I can't wait to see what the Young Arts and Heritage Leaders do next... "

An exhibition exploring the project’s theme of place-making and children’s leadership has opened at Turner Contemporary and will run until 7th April 2019. It includes examples of work made by the Young Arts and Heritage Leaders, and films documenting their experience on the project so far. Entry is free.

This work builds on Turner Contemporary’s child-led project Art Inspiring Change which took place in four Margate primary schools and involved 69 pupils. The pupils reimagined 4 key sites across the town and transformed them with art. Culminating in a town wide takeover day, in July 2017, Art Inspiring Change connected with thousands of people across Thanet. As a result of the project, confidence in skills rose from 36% to 93%, confidence in ideas rose from 48% to 96% and 100% of parents surveyed saw a positive improvement in their child.

Turner Contemporary is recognised nationally and around the world for their work in supporting children’s leadership through the arts. In December 2018, Karen Eslea, Head of Learning and Visitor Experience will speak about the gallery’s work at the InSEA Asia Regional Congress, Hong Kong, 2018.




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Posted by: Turner Contemporary on Tue 20 Nov 2018