What is it like to be sixteen years old now?

In a major new touring exhibition leading contemporary photographers join forces to present the multimedia project Sixteen, exploring the dreams, hopes and fears of sixteen-year olds across the UK.


Thanks to a National Lottery grant from Arts Council England Sixteen will tour the country, starting in February 2019 with exhibitions in North West England and in March at FORMAT19, Derby. You find see the full touring details and venues on our tour page.


More about the project:


Photographer Craig Easton conceived this ambitious project following his engagement with sixteen-year olds at the time of the Scottish Referendum. It was the first, and as yet only, time that these young people were given the vote in the UK. Building on the success of that work he invited 16 of the UK’s foremost documentary portrait photographers to collaborate with young people across the country to make a visual vox pop on what it means to be sixteen now.


Photographers: Robert C Brady, Linda Brownlee, Lottie Davies, Craig Easton, Jillian Edelstein, Stuart Freedman, Sophie Gerrard, Kalpesh Lathigra, Roy Mehta, Christopher Nunn, Kate Peters, Simon Roberts, Michelle Sank, Abbie Trayler-Smith, plus two specially selected students, David Copeland, MFA candidate at Ulster University & Kelly O’Brien, recent graduate from the University of South Wales. You can find out more about each photographers’ work via our artist page.


Sixteen is an age of transition, of developmental, and of social change. At this time of increasing national and international anxiety, these young people are shifting from adolescence to become the adults who will live in a politically reshaped country, divorced from the European Union.


Working with photography, film, social media, audio recordings and writing, the project brings together the faces and voices of more than a hundred young people from diverse communities across the United Kingdom. Locations span large conurbations such as London, Birmingham and Manchester, the South West, Northern Ireland, the Scottish Islands, and post-industrial areas of the North.


The photographers open up conversations with these young people about their hopes and fears, and who or what sustains them, giving prominence to voices rarely heard. The project explores how social background, personal histories, gender, beliefs, ethnicity, and location all might influence aspiration.


This integration of stunning portraits and young peoples’ candid reflections will tour to institutions organisations, arts festivals, and venues beyond the boundaries of the museum. Each venue will co-curate a selection of the work inspired by their own location, relevant topics and themes. Dedicated engagement programmes will encourage further conversations with young people across the country.


The project is produced and managed by Anne Braybon (Creative Director), Craig Easton (Lead Artist) and Liz Wewiora (Creative Producer). Thanks goes to all of the photographers, young people and partners involved who have made this project a reality.