Outdoor art installation inspires youngsters

Young people at Horden Youth and Community Centre with visual artist Vicky Holbrough.
Young people at Horden Youth and Community Centre with visual artist Vicky Holbrough.

Young people have been showing their creative side during a visual arts workshop inspired by an outdoor art installation.

Children from Horden Youth and Community Centre attended the session based on Louise Plant’s sculpture Ps in a Pod, which is currently located at Nose’s Point in Seaham.

The piece, featuring three cast iron shapes, was commissioned by Durham County Council as part of a new approach to visual arts, which sees work sited in community locations rather than being displayed in conventional gallery spaces.

Working in pairs and larger groups, the children were invited to play with sets of hand sized mini-Ps, made especially for the workshop, before being shown simple techniques for making their own sculptural forms.

The theme of Ps in a Pod is ‘the same and different’ and the young people were asked to explore this idea with the help of visual artist Vicky Holbrough.

Colin Robson, the council’s community cultural development coordinator, said: “Anyone presented with Louise’s mini-Ps seems to be overtaken by an irresistible urge to begin arranging and stacking them.

“Almost before it registers, sculptural installations start emerging.

“By introducing word prompts such as ‘beautiful’ and ‘ugly’, this intuitive play takes on a more focused purpose.

“The aim of the workshops, which also included dance, drama and music, is to create a playful atmosphere where the youngsters are prone to be more open with themselves and others.”

Workshops are taking place at primary schools and youth groups across East Durham while the Ps in a Pod sculpture is situated in the area.

The installation will then move on to Wharton Park in Durham, Bishop Auckland Market Place and finally Hamsterley Forest in April 2018, with further workshops planned for each location.