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Our work with young people

Our Place: Young people blend natural and urban in Glasgow exhibition

Young people taking part in our Creative Pathways employability programme in Glasgow unveiled the superb (Our) Place exhibition this week - an eclectic set of artistic responses to environmental issues.

Four young people have been working with artist Allan Whyte over the past 12 weeks, learning artistic techniques, developing their creative practice and exploring issues that are important to them: including mental health, LGBT rights, free speech and identity.

This exhibition, which took place at The Space community venue on London Road, particularly focused on environmental issues and the group employed environmentally-conscious techniques when creating their work.

The exhibition featured:

  • Stenciled graffiti on recycled wooden panels
  • Photography taken using shoebox cameras and developed using coffee and other household items
  • Plaster casts sculptures of pieces of rubbish like milk boxes - symbolising the permanence of plastic in the environment
  • Sculptures combining spraypainted leaves and found metallic objects.

While working on these creative projects, the young people - who are aged 16-17 were not in employment, education or training at the beginning of the programme - got support from Impact Arts to find what they want to do in the future.

They got training in finding work - including CV writing and interview skills - gaining SQA qualifications in Employability.

Ryan McCann, 17, is one of the young people who took part in the programme.

He said: "If you'd told me at the beginning of the year I'd be part of an art exhibition I'd have said you were crazy.

"It's been cool to go to a work space and develop creatively. I enjoyed most the photography and grafitti - I've learned more about how to edit and how to work a camera.

"I now feel like I'd like to pursue acting and filmmaking at college."

Sofia Akram, 17, is another of the programme participants.

"It was a nice opportunity to grow and learn new things," she said. "I also learned more about what people want in the world of work.

"It feels nice to share what we've done with other people."

Allan Whyte is a visual artist who the young people have been working with since the beginning of October.

"I'm massively impressed by what the young people have produced. They brought great ideas to the project and worked hard to pull this collection of work together.

"We felt it was important that the young people were creating work that reflected their own experiences, and the issues that are important to them. They've accomplished this brilliantly, showing off what they've learned while bringing their own individual styles to the work.

"It goes to show that when young people are given time, materials and a platform to develop, they produce a really high level of creative work."

Impact Arts runs 12-week Creative Pathways programmes throughout Scotland's central belt throughout the year, giving unemployed young people the opportunity to learn artistic techniques while getting support to find work or places in education and training.

This block in Glasgow was funded by Skills Development Scotland, the Big Lottery Fund's Our Bright Future initiative and Inspiring Scotland.

New blocks of the programme will be beginning in Barrhead in the new year.

Visit our Join a Project page to find out more.

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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.

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