Art Reparations Project opens fine art installation
Young people working on a making amends project, have created a fine art installation with the help of local artist Alexandra McKenzie, now on display at Hackney Picturehouse’s third floor gallery.
The artwork titled ‘Meadow’ has been created by young people on reparation orders, which are non-custodial sentences to help prevent further offending and help generate an understanding of the effects of crime.
Through the project young people have learnt transferable skills that could help with careers in the creative industries, one young person has even gained a scholarship and entry to one of London’s top art colleges to help them develop their talent further.
Alexandra Mckenzie, fine artist who volunteers for the project said: “Fine art techniques like sculpture and printmaking involve a number of small ordered tasks, that is not only satisfying once you bring it all together at the end but in creation allows space for peace, quiet and concentration on the task at hand. A creative approach to reparations work gives young people space to forget issues going on in their lives, shows them they can do much more than they thought and brings a positive satisfaction once the work is completed and is enjoyed by other people.”
One young person involved in the project, who is 17 on seeing the completed work said: “It’s much better than I thought it would be. I didn’t think it would look so good all together.”
The artwork follows on from the creation of eight murals painted by young people on the project last year at the Youth Offending Centre. This artwork specifically looks at the voices of young people, giving them a way to express their feelings and get their voice heard through the piece.
The artwork created is extremely powerful, and I would recommend all residents to visit the piece and reflect on the voices and experiences of young people that come through. This art reparations project is part of our prevention led way of tackling youth crime in the borough, and is part of a range of diversion programmes that we offer. I am proud of the young people involved and hope that the project helps them on their way to transitioning into a successful and independent adulthood.
‘Meadow: A meditation on Wild Things and Wild Places’ will be on display at the 3rd floor Hackney Picturehouse Gallery space, Mare Street until 30 May 2019.