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Anita Hamlin: It’s just exciting putting together an exhibition in such a different way.
Sarah Norrish: It’s about having these really different, fresh ideas,
Louisa Briggs: With the writers show, we really wanted to focus it on young people, and then we decided that, actually, it would be brilliant to get them involved in curating it.
Adam Milford: It’s becoming more and more for the young people to be involved in the exhibition planning stages. So we hold meetings based around marketing, we might have a meeting based on the list of works at the National Portrait Gallery, we have a meeting where we voice our opinion on what might be chosen for the exhibition.
Juliet Horsley: The idea behind the exhibition was to think of a subject with as wide a reach as possible, but would particularly appeal to young people.
Sheila Fellowes: Some of the more contemporary shows, with conceptual or abstract art, people often find it difficult to to find a way in. Whereas with this, everybody, whatever generation they are, recognises somebody.
Jenny Beale: It’s really important to have this dialogue with young people, because we actually have to get behind what they’re wanting from the exhibitions, rather than our perceived notion of what it is we think they want.
Louisa Briggs: We’ve been involved in the selection of works in the themes of the exhibitions, but they’ve also been involved in co-writing the text with us. They’ve had meetings with our marketing and press, and will be inputting for the launch event, for example. Also they’ll be meeting with the designers as well to shape how the exhibition physically looks in the gallery. They’ll be doing the layout with use too, so they’ve actually been a fundamental part of the exhibition process.
Anita Hamlin: To be working with teenagers as well, who never usually get a chance to do something like this, and they’re going into the gallery, it’s giving them the feeling they can actually do something in the gallery, it’s their gallery, these works do belong to them.
Louisa Briggs: We may have an idea of what appeals to young people, this exhibition is aimed at young people, but not necessarily what young people are really interested in.
Jenny Beale: We really wanted to focus on having fun, and enjoying and engaging an exhibition, and one of the ways we did that was by putting the comedy club area together, where there’s props and costumes and scripts for young people to explore and actually be comedians and get up on stage and have fun with that.
Sheila Fellowes: All the props are there, and if you give people a microphone, a laugh track and some props, people will over-act dreadfully, it’s really funny.
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Curating a successful exhibition involves effective teamwork. Learn about how it connects with other creative practices from marketing and designing advertising posters, to designing the exhibition space and organising related events in the space.

Comedians: From 1940s to Now

Images from the Comedians exhibition

A national exhibition celebrating the role of British comedians.

Writers of Influence: From Shakespeare to J.K. Rowling

A national exhibition based on influential writers from Shakespeare onwards.