The Bluecoat: Art:Connect Liverpool
Daily 10 – 18:00
An exhibition at the Bluecoat from 14 March – 15 April 2012 daily 10am – 6pm.
“It takes a collective effort to build a community”
The Bluecoat is exhibiting work from its successful artist in residence project which
brought together international artist Wendell McShine and local community groups.
Wendell has been working with children and young people from Norris Green and learning
disabled adults from the Blue Room project to bring people together through art. The
exhibition marks the end of Wendell’s seven-week residency at the Bluecoat
Hailing from Trinidad and based in Mexico, Wendell worked with the groups to make
drawings, carnival masks, film and animation.
The residency was funded by Liverpool PCT as part of the Decade of Health and Wellbeing
and the project has focussed on how taking part in arts activity and collaborating with new
people can improve health and wellbeing. In particular the project has focussed on bringing
together children and young people with learning disabled adults in order to break down
barriers and increase tolerance and mutual understanding.
Bec Fearon, Head of Participation at the Bluecoat said: “This aspect of the project has been
incredibly successful. Every week, seven learning disabled people from the Blue Room
project have travelled from the Bluecoat to Norris Green to help run an after school club.
They have supported the children in their activities and through the process of making art
together new friendships have formed. People feel a lot more at ease with each other and
we hope this will lead to greater confidence outside the project.”
The exhibition will feature beautiful animations, carnival masks, self portraits and film, many
aspects of which have been created in collaboration between the different groups with
Wendell. The animations will bring the participants’ voices to the screen as they talk about
their feelings about their area and will bring the city streets of Liverpool alive, using models
and characters created by Blue Room. A short film documentary will bring the whole
magical experience together for the exhibition audience.
Mary Cloake, Chief Executive at the Bluecoat said: “Art:Connect has been a fantastic
project. It is exemplary of the way the Bluecoat uses its participation team to engage local communities, who ordinarily may not be able to access high quality arts provision in the city
Wendell McShine said: “We all share a common interest to the well being of our societies
and self expression is one of our core values both as individuals and groups. I have created
the Art Connect Project rooted in the philosophy that investment in education, art and
humanities is vital for the upliftment and development of any society. This program is
created to promote self awareness in young people through the use of educational and
dynamic creative workshops. My mission is to equip young people with new found skills and
information that they can apply to enrich their lives and impact their communities.”