UEL Photography students collaborate with London’s Photographers' Gallery
Students broaden their experience by giving exhibition tours at prestigious London gallery
By Lee Pinkerton
Six students from the University of East London’s (UEL) BA Photography programme had the opportunity to share their creative knowledge with members of the public at The Photographers’ Gallery (TPG) in central London.
The students gave tours of the prestigious gallery’s exhibitions, providing visitors with background and insight into the exhibition artists and their work.
The collaboration was initiated by Minna Kantonen, Programme Leader of UEL's photography programme, and The Photographers' Gallery Head of Education and Projects, Janice McLaren.
It took place as part of the gallery's Viewpoints initiative, which introduces exhibitions to the public through different voices, including those of students.
Ms Kantonen said, “The event was a success and a wonderful opportunity for our students, of whom we are all immensely proud. We are looking forward to working with TPG again in the future.”
The students were recruited by UEL academics Dr Antigoni Memou and Dr Debra Shaw, of the University's College of Art, Technology and Innovation.
Dr Memou said, “We focused on students who had expressed interest in pursuing a career in the gallery and museum world. Given that this opportunity involved public speaking as well as researching the participating artists in advance, students who had shown strong research and presentation skills in contextual studies were prioritised.
“The six students who presented are very strong academically and creatively. We supported them in their communications and meetings with gallery staff, and helped them prepare their public talks.
“This is an opportunity that we'd like to build upon in the next years, so we are delighted that gallery staff praised the students for their excellent communication skills, the rigour of their presentations and their professionalism.”
The students involved felt the day was a beneficial experience.
Hattie Collins said, “This was a fantastic experience that has helped to enhance my public speaking and research skills. I hope to give similar talks in the future’
Lewis Rieley said, “The Viewpoints tours offered the perfect chance to improve my confidence in public speaking. Where better than one of the pinnacle establishments for photography?”
JJ Fenwick described the day as “a great opportunity to build confidence and make connections within the art community.”
Scott Coller said, “This was a great opportunity to speak in public about a piece I was passionate about, and the research and preparation I underwent beforehand taught me a lot about curation and storytelling.’
The Photographers Gallery is located at 16–18 Ramillies Street, London, W1F 7LW
Details of the Viewpoint exhibition can be found on the gallery’s website.