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Yorkshire Sculpture Park

“It’s enabling us to engage with young people in ways we haven’t been able to do before and very exciting territory for YSP

Art and Participation for Young People’s Wellbeing with Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) and the Summer of Love 2022

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Creativity, connection and wellbeing for young people at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP)

We are very happy to announce that our final grant has been agreed with and awarded to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP) Learning Team.

The grant will support partnership work with young people from LGBTQIA+ and culturally diverse community groups.  Activities will take place in Spring and Summer 2022 which will connect with YSP’s Summer of Love programme.

The Summer of Love is a series of events and projects that celebrate human relationships, understanding and love between people.  The programme will explore the complexities of love and community. This includes how we relate to one another and ourselves, and how we can represent love in a way that is inclusive of and compassionate to everyone. The programme takes its inspiration to explore relationships and identity from the Robert Indiana exhibition.

Key groups taking part include Barnardos Positive Identities (LGBTQ+) youth groups and the Bangla Square Youth Group. This work will support the YSP Learning team to develop a youth engagement programme pilot. The project is being coordinated by the YSP Learning team and creative practitioner Rachel Craddock. The pilot will explore how YSP’s unique setting can support young people to connect with their creativity to support their wellbeing. It enables the team to carry out new work that enhances and grows the YSP learning offer to reach and engage with more young people. This funding presents a meaningful opportunity for the YSP youth engagement programme to be developed with expertise from a range of creative practitioners, youth workers and artist in collaboration with the participants.

The project will include outreach workshops in the group settings. It will also support visits to YSP to for the young people to take part in a programme of events led by artists. Creating opportunities for the participants to meet and collaborate with artists is a key aspect of this work. We will be working closely with artist and engagement specialist Andi Walker to create stitched stories which reflect the lives and experiences of participants through textile artwork. We will also explore creative processes and conversations around identity, diversity and wellbeing throughout all of our activity. The groups will also be able to take part in workshops and events that explore nature connectedness as a way to support wellbeing.  They will be able to contribute to shaping the Summer of Love Programme through their insights and creative contributions. The participants will be encouraged to reflect on their work together which will be recorded by Rachel to help us capture learning and impact. This will create a legacy for youth engagement through creative practice and support for wellbeing. The project will also provide an opportunity for the YSP Learning team to embed the legacy of this work in further youth engagement programming.

The Barnardos Positive Identity groups will take part in engagement activity throughout the spring and summer, including the Summer of Love. Their experiences and contributions will become a part of the resources on display in the Bothy Gallery. The Bangla Square Youth group will take part in artist led activity at YSP and take part in participatory workshops with Leeds-based artist and psychotherapist Thahmina Begum.

We will also explore additional opportunities for youth and community engagement through Thahmina’s workshops as a part of her Walk a Mile in My Shoes participatory artwork. This includes a bespoke series of workshops to invite participants to reflect on our relationships with one another and consider how we perceive and are perceived by others. Begum’s aim is to explore a broad spectrum of emotional responses, including ‘words of anger, grief, forgiveness, belonging, empathy and love’ to find a place where we can acknowledge difference whilst focussing on what binds us together as human beings. A sculptural piece by Begum will be central to the workshops, illustrating the social hierarchies in our increasingly polarised society, and encouraging us to consider how these structures impact our feelings. With lived experience of racism, Begum navigates and unpicks issues of difference and will create a safe space to discuss, reflect and come together.

Information about the Summer of Love programme can be found here.

Creative outputs and project developments will be shared on YSP’s Instagram@yspsculpture

Yorkshire Sculpture Park (@yspsculpture) • Instagram photos and videos

The Summer of Love | Yorkshire Sculpture Park (ysp.org.uk)