On 1 May, HOP, FACT and Open Eye Gallery hosted a sharing event at the Museum of Liverpool to showcase the work achieved so far as part of the Young at Art partnership. Groups working with the partner organisations came along to share the exciting projects they have been working on over the past few months.
The day began with a talk from Open Eye Gallery who shared their Kirby Futures project – a film and photography project with the Golden Years social group, culminating in a short film and photography exhibition created by the participants.
Mandy Ferguson, from the Golden Years group, told the room how important the project had been to them, using their memories of Kirby to discuss changes to the town centre, as well as providing a way of combating loneliness felt by many older people. Liz Wewiora, Head of Engagement at Open Eye Gallery, then shared the trailer for the group’s film ‘Dolly and Joan’ which explores the 60 year-long friendship of two Kirby residents. The trailer looked fabulous and got everyone excited to watch the full film!
Next, members of the HOP network shared their HOP Pot-funded projects. Dan Ryder and John Maguire spoke about their series of ceramics workshops with the Good Neighbour group at MyClubmoor, and Ruth Worthington spoke about the craft and wire work sessions their over 50s group enjoyed.
We were delighted to have group members with us to showcase their work and demonstrate some of their skills. Both projects were very popular with participants, who enjoyed learning new skills and took pride in the wonderful artworks that they had created.
We heard from Jenny Watts from FACT, who told us about their project with the Digital Ambassadors called Dear Future Worker. As part of the project, older people worked with pupils from Holy Family Catholic Primary School in Dingle to produce poetry, drawings and film to explores the working lives of people in Liverpool. We were delighted to then see the ‘Dear Future Worker’ film which discussed the past, present and future realities of working in the city.
The morning session was a great opportunity to learn about the exciting activities which have come out of the Young at Art programme. It also gave participants the chance to share their thoughts on the programme, with many stating the positive impact arts and cultural activities had on them.
In the afternoon invited professionals and practitioners enjoyed a panel hosted by Rebecca Black from Arts Council England, where FACT, HOP and Open Eye Gallery reflected on the Young at Art project so far.
The sharing event closed with a series of guest speakers:
- Kym Ward from The Brain Charity, who spoke about the support they provide to people with dementia through speech, music and movement based therapy.
- Sandra Bouguerch, an independent artist who created works of art with her father, to explore how his diagnosis with lewy body dementia effected their relationship.
- Jennifer Chamberlain, from the Liverpool Empire Theatre shared the theatre’s plans to engage with older people through a Re-emerging Talent Scheme, designed to allow older people to re-ignite their creative passions.
The day ended with a question and answer session in which attendees explored how best to keep working toward an age-friendly city, where older people have the opportunity to engage with arts and culture.
Overall, the day gave lots of opportunities to share and reflect on all the great work that’s been happening so far through Young at Art. Thank you to everyone who came and made it such an interesting and enjoyable day!
Written by Melissa Bell, Hope University placement student