"there are no viewers - only participants"
The youth engagement campaign involved 7 separate groups of 110 young people with over 80 hours of engagement.
Upon arriving at the gallery the session started off with a brief education around BDD, a discussions around Leigh de Vries's art practise and a background of why and how she had created the project.
This was followed by an open dialogue around the subject matter of “self image, self worth, body image and awareness of these subjects”.
The groups were then navigated around the installation after which they participated in an open dialogue and a Q&A.
It was striking that while the piece reflected (and reproduced) different fields of emotion and tensions, it did so in most instances with an exceptional spirit of empathy, generosity, measurable in terms of an open curiosity and reflective self- questioning.
Most of the young people had very little exposure to artists, art and or an art exhibition within a gallery. The experience created a bridge for a closer relationship with the arts, creating new ways for them to take part and making an art experience more likely in the future.