Sandwell Young Peoples Service 'Looping the Loop'
On 3rd August 2017 ten young people from Sandwell Young Peoples Service came to the Rodd to participate in a spray paint workshop as part of the 'Looping the Loop' summer arts activty programme. This was run collaboratively by the Ikon Gallery and the Sidney Nolan Trust supported by the Arts Connect Partnership Investment Fund. The young people were between the ages of 11 and 15 years, and their comments showed that they had gained artistic confidence through the activity. For example, in regard to what they felt that they had learnt during the day they wrote "I'm quite artistic; I have an imagination bigger than I thought; that I am a good painter; I'm more of an artist than I thought; I have more confidence than I thought I did; that I can spray paint." The workshop gave them confidence and this is turn seemed to lead to them being more ambitious in their creative aspirations for the future.
There was an opening held on 1st September at Ikon Gallery to launch a three day showcase of the work that Sandwell Young People Service and the other 3 groups involved in the project had created. This was attended by the young people from Sandwell and they were visibly proud of their achievements. The group had a lot of energy and Sidney Nolan Trust Director Anthony Plant was delighted to see this group sitting in the accompanying Sidney Nolan exhibition looking quite at ease in this white cube environment. He was pleased that this in itself was an indicator that the project had achieved one of its aims of bringing these groups of young people into new environments.