Gallery Education



Gallery Education

 The development of gallery education has been transformed in recent years. Part of this transformation was pioneered at Tate Liverpool. Since opening in 1988 Tate Liverpool has developed a philosophy of inclusive gallery interpretation through the use of artists as educators. This model has been adopted by many institutions in the UK and abroad.

 From 1989 to 2003 I worked as a freelance educator and Education Curator. I made a significant contribution to the gallery programme and in particular helped develop two strands of the family programme. Great Art Adventure and Art Quest.

The presence of Toby Jackson (Head of Education), Catherine Orbach (Schools and Family Curator) and Naomi Horlock (Young Tate) had a decisive effect on the way in which I understood gallery education and audience engagement.

Activities were specifically designed to help visitors interpret contemporary art and modern art from the Tate collection. 

Activities would include drawing and making but also matching historical contexts, using language and discussion to identify key ideas and themes. Participants would also take part in practical activities that explored  processes used by contemporary artists to make art. (Video, documentation, found objects and referencing)

Much of this material was designed or developed for visitors with specific requirements. For example raised drawings and touch materials located in the gallery space for people with a visual impairment.

Working at Tate Liverpool gave me direct experience of meeting and hearing from a range of artists speak about their work. Artists such as Mike Kelley, Racheal Whitread, Ian Davenport (pictured right), Peter Blake, Sigma Polke, Tracey Emin, Kara Walker, John Hoyland and Tony Cragg. Paul Macarthy and Douglas Gordon.