This is ME!
Participants: Emmie-May Welsh / Louise Cooke / Sean Kavanagh / Colm Keenan / Dale Quinn / Kelly-Marie Ward / Kelly Mc Closkey / Deirdre O’Doherty / Caoimhe Murray / Holly Clarke / Sarah Mc Crystal / Isobel Sharkey / Ronan Cleere / Adam Aiken / Gareth Mc Namee / Charlie Reynolds
In December 2019 Void were delighted to present an exhibition of work by this group of young adults from the Liberty Consortium day opportunities. Exploring the theme This is Me, the work displayed was the culmination of 8 workshops with Kippie Productions that took place in Void’s education space between September and November 2019.
Over the past year, we have been delighted to invite them to the gallery to view and interact with exhibitions including Architecture of Change, Candida Powell-Williams and Sonia Shiel. Both Erica and I were keen to deepen the relationship between Void and this group of young adults through hands on artistic workshops. Void believes that participation in visual arts workshops can foster independence, self-esteem and artistic expression and Erica had noted that this group had not had the opportunity to express themselves artistically. Through ongoing discussion, we decided that we would seek funding from the Acorn Fund, Community Foundation Northern Ireland, to pilot a programme of workshops that would allow the young adults to explore various art forms. Kippe Productions were our natural choice to lead the workshops. Void has worked with Justine and Katherine for many years, as has Erica. They have vast experience with planning and delivering innovative and unique art activities and bring their usual enthusiasm to the gallery! Designed by Kippie, the workshops delivered multi-sensory learning experiences which combined new media with traditional art forms. They were designed so that participants could try something new, they encouraged concentration and being present and allowed the participants to exercise choice and control.
The aim of this programme was to encourage interaction with visual art, to enable the participants to feel more confident in their ability to create, to challenge and explore and to express and discover more about themselves, using drawing, painting and clay.
Head of Access and Engagement
For the past few months, our group of young people have had their creative talents captured in a series of artistic workshops facilitated by the Void Gallery and Kippe Productions The theme of their work has been ‘This is me’, where the young people were given the opportunity to explore and express themselves through various art forms, such as clay, paint and technology. The group have thoroughly enjoyed getting their hands dirty and exploring their wonderful unique features in such vivid detail. Every workshop engaged the group in a different artistic medium, and exposed them to new materials and ways of working. The young people were helped to focus on the
process of their art making as opposed to fixating on the end product which meant that after every session, each young person left the workshop with a sense of achievement. Having our young people as both the artists and subject of this art exhibition has helped to validate their right to freedom of expression.
Working with the students from The Hub has been a real pleasure and getting to know these young people has been a privilege. We have been blown away by the quality of their work, with each of them capturing something of their own unique personalities in their self-portraits. They have inspired us with the open and honest nature of their work and their enthusiasm and joy in creating.
Quotes from young people:
Sarah said, “I loved making different facial expressions. I really enjoyed it”.
“We used different materials. My favourite was when we used the iPads to draw our faces.”
With thanks to Erica Curran and all at the Liberty Consortium, Louise Boyce at Derry City & Strabane District Council, Justine Scoltock and Katherine Rowlandson at Kippie and the Acorn Fund for their generous support.