A photo showing a young person observing a wall mural at the National Saturday Club Summer Show 2022

The National Saturday Club Summer Show 2023

Dhikshana Turakhia Pering

30 Jun 2023

The National Saturday Club Summer Show celebrates the ideas, vision, and creativity of young people. This year’s exhibition in the Embankment Galleries at Somerset House (15 - 18 July) features the work of 1,700 13–16 year-old National Saturday Club members who have been attending weekly Saturday Clubs at 68 universities, colleges and museums across the country. It is an inspirational showcase of the ideas, creativity, and innovation of the nation’s next generation.

Dhikshana Turakhia Pering is Director of Programmes at the National Saturday Club

NSC_Summer Show 2022_04 Blog.jpg

A queue of visitors wait to enter the National Saturday Club Summer Show in 2022 at Somerset House
The National Saturday Club Summer Show in 2022 at Somerset House

Every Saturday, across the country, young people gather at their local university, college or cultural institution to be mentored by expert tutors, inspired by cultural institutions, and illuminated by industry leaders. The Summer Show is a culmination of the young people's journeys across a year, and a celebration of all the people that made it possible. It’s a showcase of creativity, collaboration, and content from the future leaders of our society.

At the heart of the National Saturday Club is the ambition to support young people on their journey to feeling self-confident and validated. It’s important they have the space to hone in on their creative thinking and doing, all while connecting and collaborating with their peers. The exhibition presents all of this as something tangible and places on display the practical skills and creative habits Club members have developed as a direct result of the National Saturday Club programmes. It showcases their creative and personal journeys from across the year – right in front of them. What better place for this than Somerset House, the Home of Cultural Innovators?

The National Saturday Club has always valued the immensely collaborative nature of our network, including tutors, young people, and partners. This year we decided to introduce a brief that focuses on Clubs seeing their Summer Show content as one collaborative piece, created together and celebrating the community of the national network. Clubs from across the country have devised inspiring, creative work – everything from short films and tapestries inspired by their city’s heritage, to heraldic shields that are designed with a focus on identity, visual explorations of folk stories, sculptures inspired by marine life and renewable energy, and so, so much more. My personal highlight is the display of over 1000 self-portraits showing the very faces of our Club members. You can see them in the Summer Show but also online here. I love them so, so much.

The exhibition is zoned by each National Saturday Club subject: Art and Design, Craft and Making, Fashion and Business, Film and Media, Science and Engineering, Society and Change, and Writing and Talking. The cross-disciplinary nature of the work is evident across all displays, highlighting the diversity of ideas and the power of bringing people together to innovate and create. There’s a clear message of collectivism and the power of collaboration. These young people know they have each other and don’t need to tackle anything alone. They’re socially engaged, passionate and think outside of the box. It’s a key lesson in how we could all approach life: with an abundance of patience, community, resilience, empathy, going with the flow... and joy.

The work of young people is rarely celebrated in prominent cultural spaces – so, we invite you to step inside and embrace outside-the-box thinking with next generation of creative leaders and innovators.

The National Saturday Club Summer Show runs from 15 - 18 July 2003