Young people lead the way in digital arts innovation

The new Museum Machina project has enabled Devon artists and young people to share innovative digital techniques, explore museum collections and produce innovative artwork.

Contemporary artists Tony Minnion and Katy Connor delivered workshops at Coombeshead Academy and Haytor View Primary School using handling collections from the Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) and Plymouth City Museum and Art Gallery.

Haytor Primary School

Katy Connor led young people from Haytor Primary School through a series of creative experiments using GoogleEarth, digital photography and GPS drawing to introduce ideas around perspective, scale and viewpoint. The hand-drawn maps from RAMM’s collections were used to discuss different ways maps are created, and how space and place are visualised using traditional and satellite mapping techniques.

The children created their own maps and models of satellites using drawing, painting, projections, sculpture and photography. Katy commented that, “The museum maps were essential to the workshops as a comparison means of mapping site and location. We discussed them in relation to how maps used to be made and how we map now using google earth and satellites.”

Coombeshead Academy

Young people at Coombeshead Academy explored the miner’s lamp from Plymouth Museum, and used the idea of the lamp’s ‘lens’ to allow the viewer to see through to a different place and time. Another group of young people created pieces of digital visual art using the image of the lamp overlaid with images of miners taken from historic photographs. One of the young people commented, “It’s really changed my perception of art, how diverse and different it can be using technology”. Another remarked how, “It’s really different working with an artist, when they are exploring their work and they are so passionate about it, it’s given me motivation to do new work”.

Case Study

The Daisi-produced Museum Machina Case Study gives detailed information and an online toolkit of professional development opportunities for artists and educators will be produced.

About Museum Machina

Museum Machina is a partnership between the RAMM, Plymouth Museum and Daisi (the Arts Education Partnership organisation for Devon and Torbay), and is made possible by Arts Council England funding. The project runs alongside Arts Machina, a separate project which has won Arts Council Grants for the Arts funding with a broader remit. Arts Machina aims to address the disjoint between contemporary artistic practice, where digital media is a vital tool in the creative process, and ‘art’ as currently experienced by young people. They can respond to the museum collections by visiting in person or digitally via SW Collections Explorer which showcases a growing collection of objects.

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