Newly-arrived migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking teenage girls collaborate with older women in new project

This March, Dulwich Picture Gallery is piloting a new intergenerational project working with newly-arrived migrant, refugee, and asylum-seeking teenage girls from the Baytree Centre in Brixton and socially isolated, older women in the Southwark area.

The group will work together over a series of six weeks, creating their own responses to the issue of female representation in the Gallery’s Permanent Collection.

The project offers a unique opportunity for older women within the local community and young women new to the UK to socialise and learn new creative skills together whilst helping the younger girls develop their English in a friendly and engaging environment.

In a series of photography workshops, the group will spend time at the Gallery as well as take a trip to the Brixton-based photography studio, Photofusion, to learn editing skills. They will work with staff from the Gallery’s Learning team and professional photographer, Heather McDonough to explore how women have historically been portrayed within the Gallery’s 16th and 17th-century paintings and discuss how these paintings contribute and compare to our contemporary attitudes and perceptions of women.

Drawing parallels with their own lives and experiences, and taking inspiration from the women represented in the Gallery’s collection, they will take their own portraits and photographs which will be displayed alongside the paintings that inspired them in a celebration event on 27 March. The photographs will be on public display in the Gallery’s Linbury room in April.

Jennifer Scott, Sackler Director at Dulwich Picture Gallery, said: "This project is a real chance for younger and older women to feel empowered, and create artwork that has lasting personal resonance. We are proud to present a project that looks closely at the representation of women at the gallery, a subject that I feel can often be overlooked in the history of Western art."

The project has been funded by the Women of the Year Foundation.