The Courtauld and BeyondAutism collaborate on a new display
The Courtauld is delighted to have teamed up with the charity, BeyondAutism, on a new collaborative project and display inspired by the Conway Library’s fascinating photography archive. BeyondAutism is a charity dedicated to empowering people with autism to lead fuller lives through positive educational experiences, training for the people who work with them and support for their families and carers. The charity also provides outreach and training services for parents, carers, professionals and mainstream schools, delivering life-changing outcomes in education settings and at home. In July 2019, staff from The Courtauld’s Digital Media department partnered with BeyondAutism to host a workshop for 8 students from its Post-19 service, which was established to help young adults aged 19 to 25 to focus on independent living, training and employment, health and wellbeing and community participation.
Inspired by the theme ‘home and identity’, their students creatively interpreted what being part of the community of London meant to them by cutting up hundreds of printed copies of original black and white photographs from The Courtauld’s Conway Library. The students chose buildings from different areas of London and worked them into their version of home, using brightly covered feathers and other materials to add colour, flair and texture to their large canvases.
The resulting 5 collages created by their students are now on display in the stairway leading down to the Conway Library.
David Anthony, Head of the Post19 service at BeyondAutism, said: ‘Huge thanks go to the Courtauld Digital Media Department for working with us on the project, and to the fantastic students from Oxford University’s Micro Internship Programme who came along on the day to help our students and contribute to the artwork.’
Tom Bilson, Head of Digital Media at The Courtauld, added: “We believe that the process of widening access – and most importantly humanising – our photographic collections begins at home, by involving diverse audiences in their digitisation and interpretation. Collaborating with students from Beyond Autism has been both a privilege and a joy.”
The Conway Library includes almost a million images dating from the inception of photography to the present day. A project to digitise, catalogue, conserve and publish these collections online to a public audience is currently underway, and is one of a number of activities supported through £9.4m from The National Lottery Heritage Fund as part of The Courtauld’s major transformation programme.