Stories of the World: London to transform London’s museums through its biggest ever youth engagement project

Orleans House Gallery launches Journeys, which has involved more than 80 local young people from the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames and is part of the Cultural Olympiad project, Stories of the World: London. This project is transforming 23 London museums across 17 boroughs by drawing on the skills, energy and enthusiasm of young Londoners to help them tell the story of London as a world city.

Journeys: Stories of the World will see the gallery hosting an exhibition to celebrate the culmination of this year-long project. Taking the personal effects of explorer Sir Richard Burton as inspiration, the exhibition investigates the theme of journeys through contemporary art interventions created by local young people and artists from around the world.

The exhibition will include inspiring artwork created by local young people in response to Burton’s travels, and work by internationally-renowned contemporary artists including Piyali Ghosh, Maha Malluh and Gerard Quenum. Free to the public from 29 January – 22 May 2011, visitors to the exhibition will be able to enjoy paintings, photograms, film, animation, and sculpture as well as intriguing artefacts from Burton’s expeditions.

Stories of the World: London is part of London 2012 Cultural Olympiad programme Stories of the World and is the biggest youth engagement project ever undertaken by UK museums. The project is giving young people the unique opportunity to work with museum staff from across all departments and to explore, reinterpret and be inspired by museums collections, giving a new perspective on the stories that they tell us about our place in the world.

In London, the project is led by Renaissance London and will see 1,000 young people, aged 14 – 24, involved. Inspired by the museum collections, young people will create artworks, films, performances, music, poetry, fashion shows, podcasts – and culminate in four major exhibitions in 2012 at the lead museums of Museum of London, Geffrye Museum, Horniman Museum and London Transport Museum. Stories of the World: London will reach a million people from 2009 to 2012.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Key to the success of 2012, in cultural as well as sporting terms, will be inspiring young people – to get involved, to aim high and to do the best they can. London has an incredibly rich variety of museums, from the world-renowned to smaller, local treasures. Stories of the World will put young people in the driving seat giving them a chance to curate exhibitions and collections – bringing a fresh perspective to the telling of our city’s and our nation’s history.”