Several museums and art galleries have joined forces in a project detailing changes in perception of, and experiences by, people with learning disabilities.
Our Lives, past, present and future, run by staff at specialist art group Outside in Pathways, will capture the experiences of people with learning disabilities over the past 60 years. The project aims to research how artefacts and artworks in various museums across London relate to disability throughout the ages. It will bring together older people and a group of younger interviewees, who will explore the museum collections together in order to unlock personal memories. Workshops will also be running, encouraging participants to create their own pieces of art in response to the museum and gallery visits. Deborah Evans, project co-ordinator at Outside In Pathways, said: “Civilisation belongs to everyone as does the heritage to be found in museums and galleries. This project reflects our work which is to offer high quality arts-based courses in museums and galleries and provides a unique social opportunity for one of society’s most marginalised groups.”
The project is being funded by a £34,800 grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund, and is supported by the Science Museum, National Portrait Gallery, the Handel Museum and the Foundling Museum. Sue Bowers, head of the Heritage Lottery Fund London, said: “This project will help museums and galleries to connect with a new audience in a way that will raise awareness among people who do not have disabilities while providing therapeutic benefits to those that do. It also creates an archive that will stand as a valuable source of learning.”