Young People’s Arc (YPA) is our successful and dynamic programme of creative arts & media projects, targeted at engaging the most vulnerable young people aged between 5 and 25 in Stockport, and delivered in partnership with agencies from across the Borough.
"At Refugee Action, we believe that everyone who's had to flee their home deserves a chance to live again."
"The proposed project will engage a highly regarded Stockport-based artist to offer opportunities to young people from the refugee communities, from Ebony & Ivory Community Association and young people resident in Brinnington to collaborate on the design and production of a large mural."
to work creatively with young refugees and their families
to offer skills, confidence and peer support through the creative process
to provide opportunities for the refugees to meet other people from Stockport, and to encourage integration through links and creative activities with young people from across the Borough
to ensure that the work raises public awareness through exhibition and press coverage, thereby challenging the negative perceptions around refugees
to create a piece of collaborative art through a socially engaged art process
to display the resulting mural at various venues and events over the course of 2015, starting with the opening of the Castle Yard arts centre in Stockport town centre.
Session 1 at ARC
We bonded looking at a map of the world and marking the places where we were born,where we had lived and where our ancestors were from.
We all introduced ourselves.
Refugee Action arranged interpreters.
It was very well organised.
Preparation for me involved hand painting (with acrylics) multiple sheets of acid free white tissue paper.
I brought pictures of some of my other mural projects. We pinned them onto presentation boards. This was to help the group understand the project and get some inspiration about the technique of collaging the tissue paper.
ARC provided a strong supportive team of dedicated volunteers.
The community leader from Ebony and Ivory led us in song.
Here is a quote from one of the refugees.
“Well-being is very important, it’s very good for people (to go to these sessions)”.
“It was a fab time, I was very happy! I enjoyed the singing (said laughing)!”.
Some people were very creative confidently producing beautiful imagery.
Other people less confident, so I asked them to make a simple pattern or just one flower that I could integrate into the final piece. The lady on the right of picture is making a pattern. That pattern ends up being used on the young man's jacket.
All pieces created in the project having value.
Citizens of the world.
Soon there was a great creative buzz in the air, everyone busy creating elements for the mural. It was a wonderful warm friendly atmosphere.
A healthy buffet of sandwiches, fruit and bottled water was served and lots of cups of tea.
The artwork was a means of a number of key outcomes to be achieved, including increased integration and community cohesion, improved health and well-being, reduced social isolation, plus learning and development, to name a few.
The clients who participated in the project were Somali, Bhutanese, Congolese and Iraqi.
I took all the work made in the first session back to my studio to finish gluing and cutting out, preparing to present what had been accomplished by the first group of people and to demonstrate progress of the mural to the next group of people.
I brought all the work created in the first session back to ARC'S studio
and to make it clear as where the project was going I made a temporary layout on the floor. Everyone was inspired to make more elements for the bigger picture.
A stand alone powerful piece of art created by a boy of around 10 years old.
A natural artist with the ability to express a stong message.
At Brinnington Community Centre
Back in my studio.
Preparation of the mural's background
The blank canvas is primed and ready.
I paint a multicoloured background in bright bold colours then overpaint with transparent white.
Then back in with some softer tones building up texture and subtle colour shifting.
I start by temporarily taping the work on to the background trying to get a feel for the layout and how the overall picture will look.
Here is a link to BBC's Get Creative website describing the method of my practice in more detail.