Over the past two years, The Photography Department has worked alongside The Photographer's Gallery to provide students with the opportunity to be mentored in public speaking by TPG educational department.
Three students were chosen: Sam, Ella and Anna. The students led a series of public tours individually on weekends throughout the summer holidays. Sam, who has now completed his A levels, wrote to me recently to tell me what a great experience he had and this resulted in him leading three sessions.
Please see below Ella’s personal account of her experience.
The Photographer’s Gallery Teen Tour
Over the summer, I spent 6 weeks meeting my mentor Shan Rixon for a once a week 2-hour session, in which we first discussed the exhibition and then planned a 15-minute tour.
First, I got to see a curators’ tour of both exhibitions that were displayed, from which I decided to choose Alex Prager's: ‘Silverlake Drive’ as the body of work to focus on.
The early mentoring sessions focused on discussing my ideas about the exhibition, and Prager's body of work as well as research and using both print and digital resources in which Shan assisted me. It was enriching to have the opportunity to talk at length about Praeger's photographic work and I felt this discussion helped me with the development of my own photographic ideas.
As the sessions progressed I began, aided by Shan, to formulate my ideas about the imagery into the structure of a tour, deciding on what images I’d talk about and what I’d mention about each image. In the final sessions, I was able to practice my talk before presenting it to members of the public.
I gave my tour a total of 3 times, on the 18 August, 8 September and 15 September. The talk on the 15th was part of The Photographer’s Gallery DEVELOP launch event so I gave the talk to other teenagers, a slightly different demographic than my previous tours. My first talk had about 25-30 people attend which was at first overwhelming, but I got great feedback that gave me a lot of confidence for the remaining two talks.