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Promise Me Tomorrow

05 Jun-26 Jul 2024

An exhibition of practice and process by artists and students forming part of iniva’s education programme CoLab between 2022 and 2024.

Promise Me Tomorrow is an exhibition that brings together the artistic and education practices and processes of our two-year national programme CoLab. Taking place at schools across the country, between 2022 and 2024, each CoLab project involved artists, mental health practitioners and educators.

Since 2022 iniva has organised a series of workshops for students of various ages while developing resources for educators. Each project has created a zine to illustrate the process and in some cases an artwork was left with the school as a permanent legacy of the project.

Throughout all the projects and iniva’s education programme, priority is given to how creativity can be used to support young people to find and amplify their own voices. The aim is to strengthen their feelings of autonomy, their ability to speak out about what matters to them and explore their own identity untethered from the context they are within.

Most of the projects used the classroom as a site to reconfigure, reconsider and reorientate, removing the usual hierarchies from the institution by creating a democratic public sphere within educational space. This autonomy allowed students to make informed choices about their work, engage in open dialogue with their peers and take part in critical discussions about societal issues. Artists used methods and processes to offer them a way to express themselves whether through photography, drawing, clay modelling or collage. Each took their starting point from a pressing societal issue enabling students to critically examine issues of identity, race, class, activism and climate change.

This exhibition combines the work of artists alongside students who participated in CoLab from Eastbourne, Manchester, Wakefield, Birmingham and Barking & Dagenham and creates a setting for us to think more critically about artistic education practices.

Promise Me Tomorrow is organised by Anne-Marie Watson with support from iniva’s curator Beatriz Lobo.

This exhibition is supported by Freelands Foundation.

Image: ©Muriel Garba.
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