Handle with Care is a photography exhibition of work produced in collaboration between photographer Brendan Barry and a group of young carers. Aged thirteen to seventeen, they all use the Devon Carers Service. The exhibition is a collection of the photographs made by young people during a series of workshops at Devon Carers, Westbank and at RAMM. The photographs mark the progress of the young people learning a new skill and supporting each other to create the images, but also describe their personal connections to objects in RAMM’s handling collection.
The collaboration with Devon Carers is part of RAMM’s work with people who find it more challenging to access cultural activities. Together we aimed to create opportunities for young people with challenging life situations. Opportunities that would give them respite from daily pressures, allow them to work with other young people in similar situations, form friendships and connections, and learn new creative and practical skills.
Supported by RAMM, Exeter based photographer Brendan Barry worked with the young people to teach them the process of darkroom photography. The workshops centred on Barry’s practice of transforming unusual objects into cameras. These are often large scale such as a shipping container, or the caravan and giant cardboard box that were used in the Handle with Care project. Barry’s approach when working with others is to guide them towards taking ownership over the processes he explores with them, involving them in every part of image making, starting with constructing the camera. The young people gained new skills in composition, darkroom techniques and image processing to make their own photographic prints. They also supported one another through the process and often worked together to produce the images.
RAMM aims to serve all people who live, work or visit Exeter. This project is just one of many in RAMM’s wide reaching programme to broaden engagement with the museum and its collections. By partnering community organisations, we introduce the museum to people who wouldn’t otherwise consider coming and take the museum to those who are unable to visit. RAMM’s partnerships include care homes, memory cafes, primary schools, pre-schools, disability charities and the prison.
Their display, Handle with Care, is in the Garden meeting room next to the Garden entrance from Thu 21 Nov to Tue 3 Dec.
We aim to continue working with Devon Carers to support their young carers through further creative workshops and support for them to participate in our Arts Award offer.