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Young Gallery hits Alexandra Park in true Festival Style

Almost one hundred Primary 7s flooded into Alexandra Park on Thursday to mark the end of our latest block of our Young Gallery programme.

Children from St Thomas', Carntyne and Haghill Park primary schools were parading some very vibrant artwork they have produced over the past two months as part of an programme partially funded by Glasgow City Council's Sense Over Sectarianism initiative.

Following an anti-sectarian drama project through SoS, the children of the three schools came together over several weeks to produce artwork inspired by looking at cultures and customs from around the world.

This included colourful t-shirts, flags, umbrellas and personalised Jenga-bricks, while there was also an "around-the-world" photo booth and neon face-painting in true festival style.

Displayed around the fountain were vivid glow-in-the-dark portraits of the young artists themselves. These portraits went towards creating a three peace symbol artworks that will go in display in each of the three schools.

Rocco, 11, of St Thomas' said the best part was working with the different schools: “I already knew some people from the other schools but I haven't really work with them like this.

“It’s been good working with different people, making things from scrap, and I liked making the t-shirts and umbrellas.

“We talked about people using sectarian language to other people and how that can threaten them. I knew a little bit about it before but not a lot.”

Officers from Police Scotland showed up to speak to the pupils and also in attendance were local councillors Michelle Ferns, Allan Casey and Christina Cannon. Cllr. Casey was very enthusiastic about the event and atmosphere on the day.

“Looking at all the work they’ve been doing over the last six weeks and seeing them all so happy and involved has been a great thing," he said. "It’s fantastic work that Impact Arts have been doing with the local schools in the area."

“The team have done a great job in encouraging young ones to work together in different teams and joining up the schools. When they’re going into secondary school so soon, it’s vital to have that mix and those links in place before they do so.”

Alison Logan, who heads up the Sense Over Sectarianism initiative, said: "It’s really clear from watching the kids here, you can see them mixing together, you can see that difference is not something they’re accepting.

"The arts are a great way of getting to some difficult issues and allowing the space to explore that in a way that’s fun and engaging, but doesn’t step away from tackling a difficult issue.”

Jenny Coxon, Children's Co-ordinator for Impact Arts, said: “The young people really threw themselves into this project and saw the value of celebrating different identities and cultures, while recognising that we are united by more than what divides us.

“The East End of Glasgow is a very diverse area, so this was a great group of pupils to get thinking about background, tradition, culture and customs.

“The creative process is brilliant for ideas and forging connections on a deeper level, so it was fantastic to be able to bring the schools together over a prolonged period of time. It will be great for them to see their work celebrated at the centre of the community.”

  • Visit our Facebook page to view some brilliant photographs from the event, taken by young participants on our Creative Pathways in Barrhead.
  • For more about the Young Gallery programme and the engagement we do in schools and nurseries, please visit the Young Gallery section of the site.

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