Children art the future: young Scots create The UNTITLED: Bad Entertainment
Exhibition at Scottish National Portrait Gallery marks culmination of year-long project
For one year, four groups of young people in Scotland who have little or no formal training in visual art have been embarking on a series of workshops and exhibitions, designed to unleash their inner creativity.
Now that year of creative work has come to a head with a new exhibition at the Scottish National Portrait Gallery. The UNTITLED displays a selection of work created by the project participants over the last year, and is intended to give a 'powerful sense of the thoughts, feelings and opinions of a generation which is generally little heard.'
The project was inspired by the success of GENERATION, a nation-wide programme of exhibitions, which celebrated 25 years of contemporary art in Scotland and aimed to make it more accessible to young people.
Opening the exhibition is a representation of a giant skull, which comprises 150 masks, something which was suggested by the participants themselves and which were a means of overcoming any initial reluctance or embarrassment. Other featured works in the exhibition include the severed heads of dolls and teddies, plasticine sculptures and cryptic flags.
The project also saw participants come together to create an original film, alongside filmmaker Lewis Gourlay, and scenes from the film will be shown on a series of screens within a specially-constructed box. Partly shot at Bangour Village Hospital (an abandoned psychiatric facility), it explores what happens when civilisation collapses, and young people are left to rebuild the world for themselves.
On the film, Robin Baillie, Senior Outreach Officer at the National Galleries of Scotland (NGS), said: 'It is both fateful and telling that the final scene of the film the participants created took place at an abandoned psychiatric hospital built as a therapeutic village community. From across Scotland, the participants came together at this evocative location to create art and to set up their own utopia in protest at the way things are. It all adds up to a dramatic statement, of hope, but it is also an exciting and challenging work of art.'
The UNTITLED: Bad Entertainment, Scottish National Portrait Gallery, 30 Jan–8 May 2016, free.