Seeing Through is a three-year art project with looked after young people. Working with young people and care teams in the London Boroughs of Harrow, Ealing and Westminster, Seeing Through has been led throughout by artists Kimathi Donkor, Raksha Patel and Eleni Zagkali, working collaboratively with young people through research, investigation, making and interpretation.

Through a series of workshops and three exhibitions, the project aimed to demystify Tate Britain, build confidence, raise self-esteem, offer creative participation and increase motivation for learning, in its broadest sense, for young people. The project has enabled the participants to contribute, collaborate and assert ideas and new perspectives on their individual social, cultural and political experiences.

The project culminated in a conference in Feb 2012, Seeing Through – On art, resilience and young people. This aimed to bring to light some of the key findings, as well as consider questions and issues that arose during the development and delivery of this and similar arts projects across the country. The discussions took place with an audience of professionals from the care and cultural sector, artists, artist educators, policy makers, social workers, youth workers, social care support & managerial staff, and museum/gallery representatives working with young people.

We have created four short videos which summarise the four key themes addressed by speakers and audience delegates, and a fifth video of the poet Lemn Sissay’s personal take on “opportunities for excellence.”

On Process

‘What are the key processes, challenges and successes of working with young people in care, in the context of art and creative informal learning?’

On Practice

‘What are the participatory and collaborative working practices employed by artists?’

On Value

‘What are the motivations of funders, social professionals and cultural organisations working with young people in care, and what is of value for the young participants in these projects?’

On Delivery

‘What makes partnerships, collaborations and project delivery successful and sustainable?’

Opportunities for Excellence – Lemn Sissay

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Project Information