This annual partnership project with Hampshire Youth Offending Team offers vulnerable young people aged 14 – 18 the opportunity to work with professional artists and gain a Arts Award qualifications. The project is now run on the beautiful and aspirational Winchester School of Art campus, where young people work with professional photographers and performance poets. Young people gain confidence, creativity, employability skills and steps towards a positive future.
2019: Layers of Life
This year our project theme was ‘Layers of Life’ inspired by two very different exhibitions; Michelangelo’s Sistene Chapel at Winchester Discovery Centre and Resist: be modern (again) at John Hansard Gallery. For many members of the group this was their first introduction to an art gallery, so it was fitting to see both classic and contemporary works.
“I have made new friends, I’m more confident. I was nervous and shy at the start and now it’s all fun and games.” Aaron
“I have grown more confident and it has helped me step out of my comfort zone.”
“I’ve made new friends and got a new early morning routine.” Becky
The group explored their theme by creating individual and group poems and well as taking photographs using professional cameras. The group considered ideas of hope, home and heroes, which is reflected in their final work.
Summer Arts Award 2019 was funded by Hampshire’s Police & Crime Commissioner’s Safer Communities Fund to promote positive activity for young people at-risk. Layers of Life is exhibited in the café at Winchester Discovery Centre from 4 Aug – 7 Sept 2019.
2018: Calm & Chaos
Our Summer Arts College theme was ‘Calm & Chaos’ inspired by two TATE ARTIST ROOMS exhibitions; Agnes Martin at Winchester Discovery Centre and Gerhard Richter at John Hansard Gallery. This was the first experience of an art gallery for all the young people.
Over two weeks, the group worked with professional artists to explore our theme by creating individual and group poems and well as taking photographs using professional cameras. We discussed events, situations and memories which represent a feeling of ‘chaos’ as well as places, people and hobbies that make us feel ‘calm’. Both themes are represented in their final artwork.
I liked working with professional photographers and a proper poet to help present my work over the course of two weeks and to exhibit to Winchester Discovery Centre and the public
“I feel a lot more confident after doing this and I’m proud of myself for doing so much.” Michael
“At first I didn’t want to come, but I’m glad I did. It has been good getting positive feedback about my work. Everyone is creative, you just need someone to tell you. It’s a beautiful day to try something new.” Bailey
Calm & Chaos was exhibited at City Space, Winchester Discovery Centre from 4 Aug – 6 Sept 2018.
2017: Are We
The theme this year was 'body image' and the young people interpreted this in an abstract way, finding images that represented the top, middle and bottom of the body.
“This has made me feel confident and I feel valued” (Josh)
“I enjoyed the photography because I could show how I express thought into a photo” (Connor)
I feel more creative after the project, now I have more understanding about art, I am more thoughtful and expressive. I would never usually go to a gallery, but it was a good experience.
“The results of taking photographs whilst changing the settings on the camera were amazing…I was really pleased with my shots.” (Bailee)
The project exhibition was displayed at Ashcroft Arts Centre, Fareham. All the young people who took part in Summer Arts College 2017 progressed into education or training. These included The Princes Trust and Skills to Achieve. Two young people have also returned to full time education.
2016: We are Here
The project theme was about our place in space and time. The group explored stories, ideas and thoughts about topics close to home, all the way to outer space. Their photography captures a 'starry' effect through using a variety of light techniques and shutter speed.
One young person said: “This has been the best part of my rollercoaster and I don’t want it to stop…the course has kept me out of trouble, I feel I can achieve things…it has changed the way I feel about myself and the way I see others, it has been good for my confidence.”
In August 2016 the Summer Arts College private view took place at Theatre Royal Winchester. The young people's photography was exhibited, they shared their poems with an invited audience and were presented with their Bronze Arts Awards.
2015: I Am
Young people worked with professional photographers from 'In Focus' and performance poet Chris Redmond to create their own work about who they are.
This prompted conversations and debates about identity, individuality and belonging, which inspired individual photographs and a group poem.
The artwork was exhibited in Hampshire County Council's E11 Court in Winchester in August 2015. The young people were presented with certificates in front of an invited audience. One of the young people returned to college as a result of the project, and another was successful in securing a creative apprenticeship.