Walton Youth Project – Part 2

So impressed with the idea and the enthusiasm of the workshop group. Well done

Hello Tate. I’m from Brazil. The workshops are really amazing. Truly collaborative!

I like the Idea of outlining the shadows casted by the projector and using tape to create the shapes formed.

The workshops are amazing, truly collaborative and inspires team building skills. All the young people here are totally immersed in what they are doing.love it!

Fab project. Lots of energy, enthusiasm from everyone. Thanks

I’m glad the staff (on the gallery) told me about this- what a lovely project

The next steps on the journey towards the WYP Takeover took place outside the gallery. On Crosby Beach, just outside Liverpool, and populated with Anthony Gormley’s statues, the group looked at transforming objects and their environment. They looked at Christo amongst other artists, before they went out, and experimented with wrapping the statues and creating images with the material they were given. Out in Delamere Forest, the young people explored different ways of making connections between objects and began to enjoy exploring ideas of pattern and structure, after being introduced by Sarah to artists like Andy Goldsworthy. Then the artist and youth worker took that out to Formby Woods, where the young people had a den building workshop.

Then they came back into Tate, for six weeks of experimenting with how to bring everything together and build on the experiences they’d had in order to achieve their aims of creating a space people could interact with and showing the public they were more than just naughty kids.

The breakthrough came when experiments with rolled up newspaper came together with experiments with light and reflections, and the WYP Takeover was born. The young people used rolled up newspaper and a basic triangle shape taken from an artwork in the gallery (Simon Starling’s Five-Man Pedersen (Prototype No.1), 2003), to create a structure the public would be able to come and add to, gradually taking over the space. They shone a light through the structure and mapped out the lines projected on the walls using tape in colours chosen by the group, and this became a further activity the public were invited to take part in. Upon reflection with the team, we realised that the move outside the gallery, which was in response to the need to do teambuilding with the young people, allowed us to mobilise both the artist’s and the youth centre manager’s skills equally, and this joint youthwork/art approach was key to mobilising the group, and getting them to have the courage to develop and own their idea.

Once the idea was in place, things moved fast. The young people naturally took on different roles, one creating  flyer, another writing instructions for the public, another two curating the display of photographs documenting their journey, and writing copy for the website, while the rest of the group prepared materials and got ready for the launch and the public workshops.

We weren’t sure until the week before the event, whether the young people would want to run something public, or just have their own celebration and display, so the marketing for their half term drop in social space and workshops was late and not too loud. But the impact on the gallery and the public was great.

It was the first time that Tate Liverpool has had a public facing programme devised and delivered by a group of young people from a wider community partnership, young people who weren’t art students and who hadn’t been involved with us long term. For the workshops, Tate Collective and another group of young volunteers from Walton Youth Project got on board to support the group, and it really was all hands on deck. It had involved a huge amount of effort, and insecurity till almost the last moment, but it was really worthwhile as for those two days, it went some way to changing the feeling of what Tate Liverpool is and who it is for. As one of our front of house team fed back “Its so nice to have young people like that here,,,they have so much energy  and are a credit to themselves…”