Three months today the new World Stories: Young Voices gallery at Brighton Museum & Art Gallery will open, marked by an exciting opening ceremony with events taking place throughout the museum. The opening of the gallery on Saturday 23 June 2012 will be accompanied by an innovative and participatory events programme which runs over the summer.
This project is focused on the redevelopment of the World Art Gallery and is the south east’s flagship museum project for the London 2012 Olympic Games. The project has been three years in the making and museum staff have worked with source communities, local young people, and access advisors to create this exciting and interactive new gallery which explores the ways in which culture can bring people together.
The project will also give visitors the opportunity to see previously undisplayed items from within the museum’s World Art collection, as well as showcasing major new acquisitions. The collection consists of more than 13,000 objects from Africa, Asia, the Pacific and Americas and is one of only six in England designated as internationally important.
The World Art gallery has been closed since 3 January and the hoarding boards seen by visitors have been concealing a team of curatorial staff carefully taking down, packing, and storing items from the collection which have been on display for the last ten years. The space remains a hive of activity as contractors move in on Monday 26 March to strip out the old display structures and to prepare the floors and ceiling for the new display. Other current activities include the professional conservation of objects which will be going on display, some of which are more than 500 years old, finalising labels, developing film content for the gallery, and designing and making new interactives which will enable our visitors to get hands-on. Informed by extensive consultation work with young people and other museum visitors, the new gallery will offer compelling displays which combine objects, images and film, new spaces for gathering, new seating, and things to try on, touch and smell!
Keep an eye on our What’s On pages for more details on the opening ceremony, full of free performances, activities, and tours all organised by young people from across the city who have been involved in the project.
Ellie Taylor, World Stories