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Young people in North Ayrshire to auction upcycled furniture for Impact Arts!

Young people on our creative employability programme in Irvine are this week set to auction upcycled furniture to raise money for Impact Arts' programmes!

Wardrobes, tables, cabinets, chairs and mirrors will be going under the hammer at Cunninghame Furniture Recycling Company at Heatherhouse Industrial Estate on Wednesday 6th December 2017 between 4pm and 6pm.

The group – all aged 16 and 17 and not in work or education - have been working with our artists Portia and Emmett to sand, paint and redesign old unwanted furniture in order to stop it going to landfill.

The project has been run in partnership with Cunninghame Housing Association’s furniture charity. They have provided the old furniture and the auction will be held at their premises.

Lauren, 16, has been taking part in the programme since the beginning of October.

She says: “We’ve been taking old furniture and working on it to get it to a standard that people will want to buy.

“After you’ve finished working on something, you feel great because you’ve made something that you can give to someone else to make use of.

“The course has been a big help for me. The staff go through your options, look at jobs and college places with you, and give you a better idea of what you want to do.

“It’s great that the money we raise will be going back to employment projects because there are young adults out there that need help finding out what to do with themselves.”

Nicola Wood is co-ordinating the project for Impact Arts.

She says: “It’s been great to have recycling as a big part of this project, as green issues are always really important for the young people we work with.”

“The young people have been brilliant. They have taken to the woodworking techniques and employment side of the course really well, and being able to sell their work at a public event will be great for their confidence.”

The programme is funded by Skills Development Scotland, Inspiring Scotland, Tesco Bags of Help, Clydesdale Bank, Cunninghame Housing Association and Our Bright Future, which backs projects to get young people leading environmental change in their communities.

If you would like to attend on Wednesday, or would like more information, please contact Nicola Wood on 0141 575 3001 or

Young people unveil series of magnificent sculptures for Glasgow's canalside

Young people who have been working as part of our Creative Pathways employability programme in Glasgow for the past 10 weeks have unveiled a series of awe-inspiring abstract sculptures to line the side of the Forth & Clyde Canal.

The group - all unemployed and aged 16 or 17 - have been working with artists Kaitlyn DeBiasse and Allan Whyte since September. The young people have made incredible progress as artists, producing a strong, cohesive body of work that takes inspiration from environmental issues, disappearing industry and contemporary life in north Glasgow.

Becoming familiar with computer-aided design and 3D printing, the group have designed six stunning sculptures that show a mature understanding of how to use raw materials and negative space to convey meaning.

These sculptures were unveiled for the first time at the group's final exhibition event at north Glasgow's Whisky Bond arts venue on Thursday. The venue really enhanced the impact of the sculptures as the team showcased their work to friends, family and partners who have supported the project.

The project has received funding from Scottish Canals, and the team researched the history of the canals as well as gathering information from residents of the canalside through consultation events.

The group have also been concerned with environmental issues; it is one of 31 projects funded across the UK by Our Bright Future, a Big Lottery initiative that supports schemes that help young people lead progressive, environmental change in their communities.

The overarching theme of the sculpture work has been perspective: the way we look at people, places, the environment and ourselves.

You Are Here is a map of the Forth and Clyde that runs through the green space at the Possil Clay Pits, and is aimed at contrasting the greenery there with the industry that once dominated the area.

Based on the young people's prototype, this sculpture will now created by Glasgow Sculpture Studios and installed at the Clay Pits.

Four Shadows draws inspiration from the four high-rise flats at Westercommon, and are aimed at highlighting how people can arrive at differing views of the same subject or area - encouraging people to reconsider misconceptions they may have.

Inverted Space is a concrete block using negative space to create an inverted skyline, while The Barge of Unsinkable Dreams - which involved working with local nursery children - is a symbol of the life and industry of the canal.

Inverted Wave uses curved sheet metal to make the shape of a wave and symbolises the passing of time, while Ways of Seeing uses steel and coloured Perspex in order to complement the view of Glasgow seen from the hilltop at the Clay Pits green space.

There was an employability focus to the project, which is partially-funded by Skills Development Scotland. While engaging in practical art activities, the group have been getting one-to-one support with CV-writing, job-searching and interview skills.

Further support for the project came from the Scottish Children's Lottery, Inspiring Scotland, the Gannochy Trust and SCVO.

For more about our work with young people, please visit this section of our website.

Next week: Exhibition of young people's environmental sculptures in North Glasgow

A group of young people taking part in our Creative Pathways: Environmental Design course in Glasgow are holding their final exhibition next week.

For the past 10 weeks, the group - all aged 16 and 17 - have been working with our artists Kaitlyn DeBiasse and Allan Whyte to investigate environmental issues, develop their creative practice, and grow as artists while working on a creative sculpture project with Scottish Canals.

Researching the history of the Possil Clay Pits, the participants have designed a series of sculptures to create a trail along the new footpaths, and these designs will be made public for the first time at the exhibition.

Also on show will be amazing abstract self-portraits, stunning Glasgow-rooted environmentally friendly collage work, sculpture made using found natural objects and much more to evidence the incredible artistic progress the young people have made over the post few months.

While working creatively, the young people have also been getting help with job-hunting, interview skills, CV-writing, and other skills that will help them find work.

The exhibition is taking place on Thursday 23rd November 2017 between4pmand 6pm at The Whisky Bond, 2 Dawson Rd, Glasgow G4 9SS.

We would be delighted if you could make it along to celebrate their hard work, achievements and see some spectacular environmentally-themed artwork! All welcome, refreshments will be provided.

If you would like to attend, please contact Matthew McWhinnie on 0141 575 3001 or email

This programme is funded by Scottish Canals, the Scottish Children's Lottery, Our Bright Future, the Big Lottery Fund, the Gannochy Trust and Skills Development Scotland.

Creative Pathways Glasgow delve into the past to create a bright future

Young people on Creative Pathways in Glasgow took a trip to the archives department at the Mitchell Library to get inspiration for their upcoming sculpture project at the Claypits in north Glasgow.

Michael Gallagher, of GlasgowLife archives department, gave the team a wonderful insight into the changing landscape of the Claypits, presenting maps dating from the mid-nineteenth century up until the time of the World War One.

The group pored over various documents showing the physical and social changes that have occurred in the area. This was invaluable in helping inform ideas on materials and themes, and all this research work is giving the group a more complete view of what is required to complete their sculptural project.

The workshops - which have been running four days a week since 19th September - are also giving the young people the chance to develop artistically and try new creative techniques.

They teamed up with Impact Arts' Our Bright Future Youth Ambassador artist, Natasha De Vries to work on abstract expressionist art. The group excelled in the creative exercises, helping them think in a more abstract way about how they convey emotions, thoughts and feelings through painting and collage work.

The week ended with a day of making and using pinhole cameras. The group spent the day transforming boxes, soft-drink cans and duct tape into handmade cameras.

They also made a darkroom in the basement and developing solution from mint tea, vitamin-C tablets and bicarbonate of soda – a fun and entertaining science experiment.

After everything was ready, they headed to Alexandra Park to test out their cameras, yielding some interesting results. This was hugely popular with the group and they are continuing to refine the process.

Funding and support comes from Our Bright Future, Skills Development Scotland, Inspiring Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Lottery and Scottish Canals.

Our Bright Future supports 31 projects for young people across the UK. This week they kicked off their new hashtag #OwningIt, the brainchild of the Our Bright Future Youth Forum. This is to put across the message that the young people are taking ownership of the projects and leading progressive change in their communities.

In this vein, Creative Pathways are now building up to a public consultation event in north Glasgow ahead of their final showcase on Thursday 23rd November.

Creative Pathways Glasgow get inspired by greats of Modern Art

The Creative Pathways project in Glasgow goes from strength to strength, with young people further developing their creativity through a week of classroom-based learning, a field trip to Edinburgh, and sessions on creating inventive and revelatory works of art.

The highlight of the week for many was the team’s visit to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art in Edinburgh last Wednesday. The visit gave the young people and tutors the opportunity to see work by some of the world’s most esteemed artists.

Given that this group is working towards a sculptural project in Possil, they were greatly inspired by the land art of Charles Jencks which lies in front of the gallery. The work of Eduardo Paolozzi, Anthony Gormley and Joan Miro all gave the group ideas and inspiration for their own work – and all this was before we’d even been into the gallery.

Out of the cold and inside the exhibition space, the team split into two groups and explored the two buildings, observing, absorbing and discussing the work on show. It was an invaluable opportunity for the group to see the work of greats like Picasso, Warhol, Magritte and Hepworth - to name but a few.

The previous day, the group enjoyed a two-and-a-half hour presentation on how to read and interpret modern art. Our artist tutors guided them through some of the 20thCentury’s most significant art works - from Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, to Tracey Emin and Cornelia Parker. Throughout the presentation the group made astute observations and showed great maturity of thought when it came to their “ready-made” exercise (pictured).

The week finished with the creation of wonderful self-portraits. After working hard all morning on SQA units – part of the employability component of this course - the group produced wonderful abstract self-portraits. The work from earlier in the week on interpretation had introduced new ideas about the thought processes be goes into creating works of art, and this was evident in the self-portraits that were produced. Visually stunning and packed full of sentiment and meaning, the group finished the week on a creative high.

At this rate we’ll have a number of young people leaving Impact Arts in contention for the Turner Prize!

This Creative Pathways course focuses on environmental design, encouraging the young people to think about green issues on a local level while passing on art and design skills. It is funded by Our Bright Future – a movement funded by the Big Lottery Fund which supports young people to lead progressive and environmental change.

Other funding and support comes from Skills Development Scotland, Inspiring Scotland, the Scottish Children’s Lottery and Scottish Canals.

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The team at Impact Arts work hard to secure over £1.5m of funding per year to provide life changing creative experiences for more than 5000 people.

You can help us achieve this target through making a single gift, or a regular donation. Thank you.

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