Nothing in the World But Youth catalogue excerpts

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as somebody who might have wished to have spent their youth in a different way or even as somebody who continues to live out their youth into old age. Many people have been involved in developing the idea from the initial stages to its realisation and their input has been invaluable. We used the theme of the exhibition to create discussion and debate through the establishment of a Teenage Advisory Group and the project Time of our Lives, which brought young people and older people together to make artwork and write stories reflecting on the experience of adolescence. The Teenage Advisory Group brought together colleagues from various institutions who helped us shape the curatorial thinking, whilst Time of our Lives, a collaboration with the University of Kent, Kent County Council and BBC Radio Kent, and funded through the Transformation Fund, provided primary research material which has fed into the exhibition’s development. We have also been assisted in the research and development of this exhibition and publication by a number of extraordinarily talented young people particularly Rosamund Garrett and Anna McNay. We are extremely grateful to the many individuals and institutions who have lent work to this exhibition and who have demonstrated their confidence in the concept of the show. Colleagues at Tate, the V&A, National Portrait Gallery, the British Council and Arts Council Collections have been extraordinarily helpful and supportive. With more than ninety artists in the exhibition and some two hundred objects, the curatorial process led by my colleagues, Lauren A Wright and Karen Eslea, has involved much in-depth research and been an organisational feat at a time when we are still unfamiliar with our new gallery spaces. Lenders from around the world have entrusted us with works in order for us to explore the subject in some depth. This exhibition has been designed to focus on a series of themes relating to youth and in so doing has created new interpretations of wellloved works as well as showing work that hasn’t been seen in the UK before.

We are also very grateful to Iain Aitch and Sacha Craddock for contributing new essays for this publication, and to Jon Savage for giving his permission to reproduce an important text related to his seminal book Teenage: The Creation of Youth Culture, 1875-1945 along with selected images from his archive. Independent curator Esther Johnson has made a selection of short films and artists’ moving image work for the Teenage Wildlife vidéothèque element of the exhibition. Behind the scenes, many individuals both inside and outside the organisation – conservators, couriers, registrars and technicians – worked tirelessly to prepare works for display, as well as transforming the look and feel of the galleries. Neville Mutton has overseen the planning and logistics of transport and installation, Duncan Healey the security and visitor services. Both have been ably assisted by a team of colleagues. I am particularly grateful for Andrew Shedden’s technical assistance and Jon Hillier’s work in supporting the curatorial team. The insurance of works in this exhibition has been made possible through the generosity of the Government Indemnity Scheme. Finally Sarah Martin, Head of Exhibitions, has been a constant support to her colleagues throughout all aspects of the process. This publication serves to document the exhibition and provides a snapshot of material relating to youth both in the visual arts and the wider historical and social contexts that the artworks in the exhibition reflect. Looking through the material, there is a certain similarity in how different ages have regarded youth. Perhaps in an age where the elderly also feel increasingly marginalised, this exhibition and publication should serve as a reminder of the shortness and fragility of life and how quickly we pass from youth to old age. Victoria Pomery, Director September 2011


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