Yesterday was a day of firsts for us. It was the first time we had run our new workshop, “Exhibit: Creating your own photo display”, and it was the first time we had worked with a secondary school class. It turned out to be a very fun morning full of discussion and activities about taking and displaying photographs. We met Hazlewood School’s S4/5 outside the library where pupils took some photographs of their first impressions of the newly named Sir Duncan Rice Library. It was very windy but they still managed to take quite a few good images before we retreated to the shelter of the gallery.
We took a walk around the gallery looking at the main elements that make up a good exhibition such as labels, height and audience. We even got a visit from Scott, our Exhibition Officer, who spoke to us about how he puts together a Special Collections exhibition. We are going to work with Scott soon to create a short film about this so we can use it in future workshops.
We then went to the Learning Room to do a variety of activities about the purpose and focus of photographs, before the pupils were given the task of hanging their own photography display using images from our Aberdeen Harbour Board and George Washington Wilson collection. Each group was given five images of which they had to choose three to display, making sure their selection looked attractive and made sense together.
One group decided to tell the story of a diver getting ready and going into the water with their images, while the other group went for a more thematic approach, choosing three images that showed action.
The class were given the opportunity to critique each exhibition and give feedback. The workshop gave the class a lot to think about for their own display which they will be putting together at the end of the photography project they are currently working on. Good luck S4/5, we look forward to seeing your photographs!
If you would like to bring your class to the Special Collections Centre for a school workshop, email firstname.lastname@example.org or phone (01224) 273047 or (01224) 273048.
Posted by: Lynsey and Sarah
This sounds like great fun! I imagine most gallery visitors never think about or get to see how exhibitions are designed and hung etc but there are clearly lots of things to think about to make sure it is accessible for your demographic. Good stuff!