This morning I hosted a private viewing of the On Balance exhibition for New Writing South’s young people’s Writer Squad. The idea to invite the squad in to Fabrica arose a couple of months ago when I met Debo Amon, from NWS, at a Brighton and Hove Arts Express meeting. He was describing how some of the Writer Squad review theatre performances, and I thought it would be good to get some reviews of Fabrica’s exhibitions by young people. Debo and I met up and discussed the idea – he suggested that it could be extended to include creative writing as well as reviews.
So the invite went out (via Debo) and this morning 5 young writers, Pearl, Tad, Leo, Mateio and Ulla, arrived just after 11.00am to see the exhibition.
I gave the group a bit of background information about Jacob Dahlgren and the works in the exhibition, and also about Alina Azadeh and The Book of Debt. Then I left them to explore on their own for a while – Pearl disappeared into the ribbons and didn’t emerge for some time…
At midday the gallery opened to the public and suddenly the gallery was flooded with visitors and noise. I’m glad the writers got a chance to see the exhibition quietly on their own beforehand, and then to see other people interacting with it – because of the Children’s Parade there were lots of young children and toddlers enjoying the ribbons and hopping about on the scales.
The group now has a deadline of 19th May to write something and send it to Debo and I, and I hope we will be able to post the results on Fabrica’s blog. I’m excited to see how they respond.
Again it was encouraging to see young people enjoying the exhibition and the unique space of Fabrica, and being inspired by it. I’d like to make this a regular occurrence for every exhibition – apart from anything it feels like a simple (thanks to Debo’s help) way to engage young people with what Fabrica has to offer.