Controversial landmark is picture perfect

From left to right are, William Bates from St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School, Daniel Butler from East Durham College and Ethan Pickering from The Academy at Shotton Hall School
From left to right are, William Bates from St Bede's Catholic Comprehensive School, Daniel Butler from East Durham College and Ethan Pickering from The Academy at Shotton Hall School
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YOUNG people took inspiration from a controversial landmark as a new education scheme was launched.

Students from East Durham College, St Bede’s Catholic Comprehensive School and The Academy at Shotton Hall, all in Peterlee, are taking part in an arts project that centres around the town’s Apollo Pavilion.

The controversial 1960s landmark, which was created by Victor Pasmore and recently gained Grade 11-listed status, plays a major inspirational role in a brand new creative education scheme that encourages young people across the region to learn more about the place in which they live.

The two-year scheme, developed by the Apollo Pavilion Community Association (APCA), has received the final piece of funding necessary to kick start the work, from the Heritage Lottery Fund.

The young people will learn practical and artistic skills, alongside projects that will complement their Key Stage 3 curriculum subjects.

This will be delivered through a series of inventive workshops and master classes as the students look to research and explore their heritage and investigate how the environment impacts on their day-to-day life.

Renowned artist Toby Paterson, who has been commissioned to produce artwork focusing on the built environment of Peterlee for an exhibition at the Durham Light Infantry (DLI) Museum and Durham Art Gallery, will also be working with the young people on the project.

Their work will be displayed alongside Toby’s in the DLI exhibition.

Chairman of the Apollo Pavilion Community Association David Taylor-Gooby said: “The creative education programme is a great opportunity for young people to see the town where they’ve grown up, under a new and refreshing light.

“The scheme engages the students by providing them with the practical skills and know-how to reflect upon the local community and gives them a chance to feel ownership, pride and respect towards Peterlee.

Residents of Peterlee have famously had a love-hate relationship with the sculpture, with some dubbing it a work of art and others branding it a “monstrosity”.

Other key supporters of the programme are Arts Council England North East and Durham County Council.