Reminisces of GoMA by the GoMA Youth Group

As part of the GoMA at 25 celebrations, the GoMA Youth Group (GYG) recently hosted GoMA through the Ages, an online workshop where they creatively explored the history of our beautiful building. Part of this involved delving into their own memories and personal histories of the Gallery of Modern Art, before creating collages to express how they would occupy the space. Kirsty, Jennifer, Natalie, Hollie and Lily, current members of the GYG, shared their first experiences of visiting GoMA and what stood out for them all those years ago. 

For Kirsty and Jennifer, these conversations sparked memories of visiting the gallery as a child. Kirsty remembers attending GoMA as a regular visitor of the Saturday Art Club (which has been running for nearly twenty years now would you believe), participating in fun and creative activities with her parents and making friends with the other kids. For Kirsty, looking back at her memories of GoMA is a real full circle moment as, not only is she a member of the GYG, but she is also a volunteer at our Saturday Art Club, supporting us with providing families with the enjoyable experiences that she remembers as a child. 

Jennifer’s experience of visiting the gallery as a child is very different. She shared with the group how she recalls not being allowed into one of the exhibitions because of its graphic content. For Jennifer, GoMA used to seem like a very big and sometimes intimidating place as a child. Now as an adult, she has a better understanding of the artwork featured in GoMA.

Natalie remembers visiting the more family-centred traditional museums of Kelvingrove and the Transport Museum at Kelvin Hall (now Riverside) and it was only as a teenager, during her later years at secondary school, that she started visiting GoMA. One of the exhibitions that particularly stood out for her was the 2017 Polygraphs exhibition and the video installations that were shown here. For Natalie, a Museum Studies student at the University of Glasgow,  GoMA is such an interesting and unique space as it offers visitors the chance to engage with the newest voices in contemporary art while also reflecting on historic Glasgow within one of the city’s oldest buildings. 

Natalie wasn’t the only member of GYG whose memories of GoMA hark back to her teenage years. Hollie reminisced about a time, when she was about thirteen or fourteen, mooching around town with her parents, who popped into GoMA to get out of the rain. She was more interested in texting a boy then taking in the artworks but she recalls visiting again with pals a few years later. This time she took more notice of the exhibits and had a dance with her friends in front of one of the projectors in the Inner City exhibition back in 2018. 

For Lily, as the only member of GYG here who didn’t grow up in Glasgow, (she’s from Chicago!), her recollections of the gallery are a little less distant. When her parents were visiting from America, she showed them around the sights of Glasgow, including a wee trip into GoMA. Lily remarked that the gallery, and museums in general, are ‘safe havens’, offering respite from the rain and realities of life. 

These are just some of the recollections from members of this year’s GoMA Youth Group. Do you remember your first visit with us? What exhibitions or artworks particularly stood out to you? Why don’t you book a (free) ticket to come and visit us and have a trip down memory lane, we’d love to have you back. 

The GoMA Youth Group is funded by the Scottish Government’s Youth Arts Fund through Creative Scotland with the support from Youth Music Initiative and Time to Shine. The GoMA through the Ages workshop was funded by Glasgow City Heritage Trust.

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