• Tue. Feb 27th, 2024

Review: ‘Your Art World’ at The National

ByMili Greener

Dec 6, 2023
A large room with an doorway with the words "your art world". There are also four screens surrounding the doorway with artwork showing on them.

Your Art World was curated for an audience of children to make the gallery space more accessible and a space they could relate to. However, I would encourage students to leave behind their monotonous semi-adult life and return to their childhood imagination, as displayed in Your Art World.  

Currently exhibiting at the National until 14th April is Your Art World, an art exhibition in collaboration with the community. It encourages children aged three to 18 to express and share their creativity through in-person and online communities, ultimately aiming to make the art world more accessible and inviting. The National exhibition displays various artworks from different schools and communities, and more artworks are displayed online.  

Upon entering the gallery, the exhibition is literally unmissable as it is directly opposite the main entrance. The placement emphasises the value of this scheme and also suggests a push from the gallery to make the National an exciting place for children. The colourful and interactive entrance of the TV screens presenting various artworks submitted is an enticing opening. The space dedicated to Your Art World runs through a vast corridor-like space with cubicles displaying different schools’ and communities’ artworks. Down the centre are tables with colouring pencils, notepads and tags designed for the visitor to interact with the prompt Your Art World and they were completely filled.  

A particular highlight is Dounby Community School’s installation based on the Theme protect, centrally displaying Trashy. Trashy is a character created by the children from the school and moulded from the rubbish they collected. This piece demonstrates the younger generation’s acute awareness and innovation as they chose to prioritise considering the importance of protecting our planet. Trashy is composed of plastic cups, a paper maché colourful tissue paper head and food wrappers as arms. He is surrounded by small boxes representing bricks which each child involved individually designed. A particularly touching aspect was the addition of another creature, Bob, who travelled with Trashy from Orkney to Edinburgh. The children considered every aspect of this theme and produced a thought-provoking response that remained innocent. The gallery space was full not only with children but also people of all ages, which demonstrates its success in being appealing as well as accessible. 

The addition of these children’s artworks in the traditional and sophisticated National Gallery can only be regarded as positive and beneficial. It has transformed this grand and sophisticated art space into an accessible, exciting and beneficial place for the upcoming generation.  

Image via Mili Greener