Arts impacting life

Matthew McWhinne, communications and marketing co-ordinator at Impact Arts, talks through a week of activity at their Creative Pathways project.

The Creative Pathways project, delivered by Impact Arts in Glasgow, goes from strength to strength. Last month, young people developed their creativity through a week of activity, including 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. The visit gave the young people the opportunity to see work by some of the world’s most esteemed artists.

Given that this group is working towards a sculptural project, 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 they had 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 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 presentation on how to read and interpret modern art. Our artist tutors guided them through some of the 20th Century’s most significant art works – from Marcel Duchamp and Andy Warhol, to Tracey Emin and Cornelia Parker. Throughout the presentation the group made acute observations and showed great maturity when it came to their “ready-made” exercise.

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 thinking behind 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 part of 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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