An open window for conversation

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Liverpool is home to over 150,000 children and young people under the age of 24, a third of the city’s total population. The vision for a young peoples programme began in 1994 with a group called Young Tate. This later developed into Tate Collective, the name now used across all four Tate sites.

 

Engaging in creative activities within a positive environment is a cathartic process.

Young people remain key to the gallery’s strategic and audience development. Circuit is enabling a reflective space to challenge existing practice and discover new ways of working. It is also placing young people as central influencers and decision makers within the artistic programme. A priority for the Circuit programme is to further diversify the offer and therefore those engaged, to better reflect the local profile of young people. Young people work closely with and within several departments, including marketing, press and curatorial. Learning between staff and young people is developed as a two-way model.

 

Kitty and Kayt’s Stories

The stigma we have faced as individuals has been eased by our acceptance into a wider artistic community.

“Circuit is really important to us both. It was really intimidating getting involved at first – I felt so nervous the first time I came to a workshop – but quite quickly felt like a part of this strange family. We learnt that we can make things happen, and about how the art world and exhibitions and events work. Kayt did a huge amount for the Blueprint Festival, creating one of the living sculptures and getting the young people’s psychosis recovery art group on board, and I learned a lot from the documentary team I worked with. This experience gave us the confidence and the knowledge to approach a local gallery with an idea for an exhibition, which took place in February this year. Both of us have now been accepted to start a degree at Goldsmiths next year. 

For us, making art and engaging in creative activities within a positive environment like Tate is a cathartic process, one that enables us to express, relieve and understand ourselves and our own mental health. The stigma we have faced as individuals has been eased by our acceptance into a wider artistic community. We are really proud to have been part of developing the partnership with CAMHS (Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service). It is important for us as Tate Collective members, and now as practising artists, to provide an open window for conversation, empathising with the difficulties faced by young people with mental health problems. By connecting with the young people from CAMHS, we are not only introducing them to alternative forms of self expression, we are non-judgmentally welcoming them into a new environment, one that may have appeared un-relatable. This is incredibly important to us both, and the thing we are most proud of about Circuit at Tate Liverpool.”

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