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stylishly presented on arrival soon broke the ice and the warm welcome from Penelope Curtis, the Director of Tate Britain, set the tone for the day. Helen Little and Zoe Whitely, Curators at Tate and the V&A respectively, followed with stimulating and provocative introductions, while Richard Woods outlined his reasons for the destruction of his art on its completion. Natalie Zagorska-Thomas drew on her experience in textile conservation and Barry Venning, a well-known NADFAS-accredited lecturer, rounded off the session.Fired up with the enthusiasm - and the sometimes controversial views - of the speakers, we all dispersed in our groups to see how these approaches applied in reality. On offer were sessions in the conservation departments on painting, framing, textiles, photography, paper and media and an intriguing session on art handling. In each case, the groups were small enough to be able to talk to the experts, handle the textiles, plan the removal of large artefacts, discover the techniques of gilding and how the secrets of paintings are revealed. The geography of the Tate proved challenging as we wove our way up back staircases, through the stunningly beautiful galleries and back to where we started. More food to recharge the fl agging spirits and a buzz of conversation that could be heard several galleries away, then off to a different workshop for each group. The day concluded with a question and answer debate skilfully chaired by Mansour Mansour, a member of the Tate Collective, the group of young people who contribute to the planning of the Youth Programmes and Tate in general."Where do we draw the line at what or what not to save? And why?" came a question to the panel. "Does conservation dilute or limit the progression of contemporary art?" came another. "If you had to conserve only one object, what would it be?" The questions came from all fronts with the panel exchanging lively responses.Finally the time came to end. Gri Harrison thanked us all for coming, thanked Tate for their huge contribution and also thanked the valiant NADFAS volunteers who had given such invaluable help on the day.Exit comments from the exhausted young people were: Thought provoking, fascinating, made me think more philosophically about the reasons behind conservation, great to be able to touch the objects. It was a brilliant idea, which I really hope will be repeated.Planning has already started for next year, so keep a look out for the dates and encourage your young friends to come to what will be another unique and thought provoking experience behind the scenes at Tate. ?Top left: NADFAS members including Chairman of Young Arts Denise Topolski (second from left)Top right: The day was engrossing for all those involvedBelow: Student groups talk to the art experts Images: © Richard Eaton/Tate Britain; Judith Quiney/NADFAS Housewww.nadfas.org.uk NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 49 YOUTH PROGRAMME

The NADFAS Chairman's Competition always attracts a strong following among Young Arts groups and 2011's theme of Unlock that Picture was no exception. The brainchild of Judith Waples back in 1985 - who was then National Chairman of NADFAS - the initiative was designed to give opportunities for children to try out art activities that differed to those in schools at the time. This year's competition theme was based on the National Gallery's Take One Picture countrywide scheme for primary schools, whereby the gallery focuses on one painting from the collection to inspire cross-curricular work in primary classrooms. Following a similar vein, NADFAS asked participants to visit a museum or art gallery, choose a piece of art and reinterpret it in any way they chose - not just to copy it. The hope was that the brief would encourage the young artists to really look at a piece of art and engage with it. There were 136 entries from nine Young Arts groups making up two categories: Group one - aged 8-11 years; and Group Two - aged 12-14 years. The judging panel, which consisted of NADFAS Chairman Gri Harrison, Michelle Buhl-Nielson, a sensory artist based in Hampshire, and Andrew Ellis, CEO of the Public Catalogue Foundation, was given the diffi cult task of selecting a winner from each of the groups. They also singled out those pictures that they felt deserved special mention (see box).Images the groups chose to work from included Matisse's Dance, Millais' The Blind Girl, Ford Madox Brown's Cromwell on his Farm and Ronald Forbes' The Witnesses Arriving. Judges were impressed by the range of entries and commended the young artists for their attention to detail and use of materials. They said it was a Above: The vibrant gallery of picturesLeft: Ryan Batty's winning drawing of Cromwell the Modern Day Tax CollectorUnlock that picture The 2011 NADFAS Chairman's Competition for Young Artists saw great displays of imagination and talent as old masterpieces were reinterpreted with a modern twist 50 NADFAS REVIEW / SPRING 2012 www.nadfas.org.ukYOUNG ARTISTS