Bradford Young Open 2015

Emily was one the interns we’ve had working with us at Bradford Museums and Galleries, and worked a great deal on the ‘Young Open’ exhibition at Cartwright Hall this year.

She’s written a post for us, talking about her experiences on the project:

During my ‘Exhibitions and Museums’ internship at Bradford Museums and Galleries, I gained a huge insight into the wonderful world of museums.

From my first major task attending a youth conference in Istanbul to delivering workshops to children, I achieved more than I ever set out to and learnt many transferable skills along the way.

I worked primarily on the ‘Young Open 2015’. Initially I contacted as many organisations linked with children as I could find to ensure people were becoming aware of the exhibition. Reaching out to all 0-16 year olds who live or study in Bradford was quite a daunting task, as I was incredibly worried I would miss young people out who were eager to join in.

Designing the graphics work for the exhibition, including flyers, information panels and promotional products (pencils/badges) was something I particularly enjoyed. I loved creating a brand identity for the public to relate to. I developed my Adobe CS6 skills massively which will continue to benefit me during my final year at University.

Exhibition Flyer
Exhibition Flyer

I visited numerous schools and organisations to deliver workshops, promote the exhibition and help create artwork with the children for them to enter. I enjoyed doing this as I met so many new people and visited so many parts of the Bradford district that I had never seen before. The idea that I was working towards bringing everybody together made me feel incredibly pleased with the concept of the Young Open.

I also organised and completed workshops alongside freelancer Musarat Raza at Cartwright Hall.  One of the workshops was held before the exhibition went up allowing children to complete work to be entered.

Then the next two were inspired by the exhibition. This was a fantastic experience as I learnt what it was like to work with a freelancer as well as the background work that had to be completed, such as risk assessments.

Childrens work from exhibition-linked workshops
Childrens work from exhibition-linked workshops

Organising the layout of the gallery space was particularly fun. I chose colourful sugar paper to mount the work to ensure it looked visually pleasing for children as well as professional. I made sure each piece was individually labelled.

Designing and making activities for children to get involved with throughout the time the exhibition is up was enjoyable but slightly difficult. I wanted to work on making sure there was something for older children to do as well as younger.

The ‘selfie frames’ were an idea I came up with early on in my internship as they allow families and children a photo opportunity to remember either their day out or their child’s work being on display in a civic art gallery. The portraits were an idea I had later on to allow children to focus on their drawing skills and imaginations.

Emily with the Selfie Frame
Emily with the Selfie Frame

Judging of the work was exciting to organise, yet somewhat challenging. I wanted to ensure the judges had a broad understanding of children and art. The judges themselves were lovely and worked very hard to decide on the winners. I was extremely grateful that they took the time out of their busy schedules to help with the exhibition.

Throughout my placement I also worked on the weaving gallery one day a week with Greg, Weaving Technician, and Gill, Weaving Volunteer. They taught me the whole warping and weaving process and how to apply them to different looms. I also learnt all the technical terms as well as how to use the machinery.

I thoroughly enjoyed learning the weaving process. Learning a whole new skill and the atmosphere of the mill felt special to me as it was once part of Bradford’s booming textile industry. I’d like to thank Greg and Gill for allowing me to join their team and for teaching me so much during my placement and over the summer.


I have gained a much broader understanding of what actually goes into organising and completing an exhibition and what other jobs that are completed in the museum service. It has been difficult at times but extremely exhilarating and I have learnt many new skills.

I would like to take this opportunity to say thank you to all the staff across the sites of Bradford Museums and Galleries, particularly Cartwright Hall Art Gallery and Bradford Industrial Museum and to Arts Council England funding.

Thank you for helping me whenever necessary but also leaving me to my own devices to work on the exhibition allowing me to flourish and learn for myself.

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