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“What Next?”

News St Martin – Talking Points

Wednesday 24 October 2012

“What Next?”

A Free creative arts exhibition at St Martin-in-the-Fields curated by participants of the Creative Jobs Programme.

Tuesday 23 – Friday 26 October 2012 St Martin-in-the-Fields’ Gallery in the Crypt.

Following London’s spectacular summer of sport and culture, this new exhibition sees young people working at some of the capital’s top cultural venues including the Royal Opera House, Hackney Empire, the V&A Museum, Arcola Theatre, Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Britain and Theatre Royal Stratford East collaborate with emerging artists to tackle the question What Next?

This free exhibition at St Martin-in-the-Fields’ Gallery in the Crypt from 23-26 October showcases nine up and coming young artists working in the mediums of photography, fine art, print, illustration, sculpture, and video. Organised and curated by trainees taking part in the Creative Jobs Programme (a collective of 40 young people aged 18 to 24 who are undertaking six months paid work and training at a variety of cultural organisations), What Next? asks its audience to put themselves in the shoes of young Londoners embarking on careers in the creative and cultural sector either as an artist or working within an arts organisation.

The London summers of 011 and 2012 could not be more different; What Next? brings together a group of artists to reflect on the unique social, political and personal issues relevant to young Londoners, with some drawing inspiration from last summer’s riots and others from this summer’s Olympic and Paralympic Games. Artists involved include:

Image by Marc GascoigneMarc Gascoigne, a London based art and documentary photographer.  His photos were captured as the sun was rising in August 2011, after a night of rioting in Ealing. Recording the brief moment in time between the violence ending and the clear up beginning they capture the quietness of a community still shocked by the events and uncertainty of what might follow.

Sculpture by Rebecca CornSculptor Rebecca Corn’s work explores the emotional and physical journey of a person fleeing crisis and seeking refuge. Inspired by time she spent working with vunerable people at a homelessness charity, Corn’s start 3D installation invites the viewer into the scene of this dramatic moment frozen in white plaster.

Casey Nugent, Communications and Projects Assistant at Exhibition Road Cultural Group and one of the Curators of What Next? Said:

“This exhibition is a great opportunity for emerging artists and young people beginning their careers in the cultural sector to collaborate. It is giving us hands on experience of organising an exhibition, the chance to work with high profile arts organisations and it provides a platform to showcase some talented young artists to a wider audience.”

Lord Tony Hall, Cheif Executive of the Royal Opera House and Chair of the Cultural Olympiad Said:

“Like the Games the Cultural Olympiad was an enormous success offering everyone across the UK the chance to see workld class art and celebrate British creativity. It has been tremendous to see the exciting new partnerships and prokects that have developed during the festival, such as the Creative Jobs Programme.  However, the question that these young people in this exhibition are so rightly asking is What Next? It is imperative that we create a real lasting legacy for such important work, which is why I am so thrilled by the news that the Arts Council are building on the success of this project to launch their Creative Employment Programme, a similar concept but on a national scale!”

 The Creative Jobs Programme is a collective of 40 young people aged 18 to 24 who are undertaking six months paid work and training at a variety of organisations involved in the London 2012 Festival; including Tate, British Museum, Create, Sadler’s Wells, and the National Portrait Gallery. The initiative is being led by the Royal Opera House in partnership with LOCOG, Arts Council England, UK Legacy Trust and BP to create a lasting skills legacy for the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad.

The Programme aims to privide the participants with the skills and work experience needed to start a career in the arts. In addition to their jobs, each cohort is encouraged to work on their own ‘creative project’ with their CJP colleagues, allowing participants to demonstrate their creative and artisitc flair, and gain experience in leadership and project management.


Exhibiting Artists

Claire Thompson (Fine Art)

Deon Kitcher (Photography)

Jan Flisek -Boyle (Photography)

Kyle Platts (Illustration)

Marc Gascoigne (Photography)

Raedene Quist (Tattoo Portraiture)

Rebecca Corn (Sculpture)

Seye Isikalu (Photography)

Stephen Ansa-Addo (Print)

Creative Jobs Programme

 23 Creative and cultural organisations in London are partners in the scheme; Arcola Theatre, A New Direction, British Museum, Create, Discover, East London Dance, Emergency Exit Arts, English National Opera, Exhibition Road Cultural Group, Geffrye Museum, Hackney Empire, Hemingway Design, International Institute for the Visual Arts, National Portrait Gallery, Royal Opera House, Sadler’s Wells, Somerset House, St Martin-in-the-Fields, Tate, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Urban Development, V&A Museum, Whitechapel Gallery.

The Programme offers participants a range of structred training to privde an insight into working in the creative sector. This includes an induction, accredited training, mentoring employability skills and sector-based masterclasses. Participants must undertake the programme as a cohort, starting and finishing their jobs at the same time, developing a strong peer support network.

The focus of the programme is on equipping young people with the skills and experience needed to start a career in the creative industry, in particular giving opportunities to those who might otherwise be excluded from unpaid routes in to the sector. A key objective of the employers involved is o contribute towards diversifying the workforce of their own organisations and the cultural sector.

The recruitment was managed in partnership with JobCentre Plus, candidates had to be unemployed, aged 18 to 24 and have been claiming Jobseekers Allowance for a minimum of 13 weeks to be eligible to apply. Of the 40 successful candidates:

  • 28% are from the six Olympic host boroughs.
  • 58% are from BAME backgrounds
  • 58% are graduates
  • average age is 22 years old
  • average unemployment time prior to gaining a position on the programme was 7 months.

Programme background

The Creative Jobs Programme has been modelled on the successful ‘Culture Quater Programme’ (CQP) which the Royal Opera House designed and led over the last two years in partnership with ten cultural organisations in central London including the V&A, St Martin-in-the-Fields, ENO and National Portrait Gallery. Of the 105 young people who took part in the CQP 73% subsequently moved in to employement (63%) or in to further or higher education (10%). More information and an independent project reviewcan be accessed at:

Cultural Olympiad

The London 2012 Cultural Olympiad was the largest cultural celebration in the history of the modern Olympic and Paralympic Movements. Its four year culmination was the London 2012 Festival, bringing leading artists from all over the world together from 21 June 2012 in the UK’s biggest ever festival.

As well as leaving an inspiring legacy for the arts, one of the central ambitions of the Cultural Olympiad was to ensure there were real social and economic benefits resulting from the opportunities and investment brought about by London 2012.

In light of record youth unemployment in the UK, the Cultural Olympiad Board identified an opportunity to work with its partners and funders, Arts Council England, UK Legacy Trust and BP, to set up the Creative Jobs Programme to offer real jobs and training to unemployed young people to develop a lasting skills legacy for the Cultural Olympiad.

St Martin-in-the-Fields

St Martin-in-the-Fields, the host of What Next?, is renowned throughout the world for its music, architecture, hospitality and a forward-thinking approach to supporting people in need. From London’s first freelending library, to pioneering work with homeless people and the first religious radio broacast, St Martin’s continues t break new ground in defining what it means to be a church.  As part of St Martin’s recent renovations the church is now able to host art exhibitions in the Gallery in the Crypt.  St Martin’s offers a platform for artists and oragnisations to display their works, to delivery a message of hope and to encourage viewers to re-examine our views of the modern world.


For further information please contact;

Elizabeth Bell

Head of Corporate Communications

Royal Opera House

Tel: 020 7212 9717, Mobile: 07900388512


Daniel Williams

Project Manager, Creative Jobs Programme

Personnel Department

Royal Opera House

Tel: 020 72129690