2017 Arts Programme for Young People
Over Summer 2017, Ikon Gallery and Sidney Nolan Trust have collaborated on an arts programme supported by the Arts Connect Partnership Investment Fund. The project has been inspired by the spray-painted work of Sidney Nolan that had been on exhibition at the Ikon Gallery. It was created to benefit young people from Birmingham and Sandwell and took place during June and August with a show case at Ikon on 1st - 3rd September. The project was called 'Looping the Loop'.
Groups of young people from four of the Trust's partner groups in Birmingham and Sandwell had the opportunity to take part in a series of three workshops held at both Ikon Gallery and The Sidney Nolan Trust. The partner organisations supporting young people were St Basils (combating homelessness and its effects), St Pauls School in Balsall Heath (for young people excluded from mainstream education), Trident Reach (working with young people to maximise positivity, independence and participation) and Sandwell Youth Services. Also the Ikon Youth Programme were able to take part in the project. Partner groups were supported by the Trust and Ikon staff to encourage participation by young people who often find it difficult to commit to new activities outside of their normal realm of experience.
The groups all visited the Nolan show at Ikon after which they engaged in artist led writing workshops on board Ikon's Slow Boat and spray paint workshops in the Grain Barn at the Sidney Nolan Trust. There was a third and final follow up workshop at Ikon to plan and curate their showcase and design fliers etc. for publicity. Alongside the scheduled activity, each young person had the opportunity of completing Bronze Level Arts Award.
Outcomes for young people were to :
- Learn new creative skills
- Gain valuable skills relevant to work and training
- Take part in an art exhibition
- Meet people from art and agricultural backgrounds
- Experience new environments: the gallery, the narrow boat, the countryside, Sidney Nolan's studio
- Time out from everyday pressures
- Develop creative talents with ongoing support and signposting
The opening of the showcase at Ikon was attended by two of the young peoples groups. Spray paint works were displayed alongside some of the written words from the word workshop.