The Twilight Zone Art exhibition, launched on 29 March at the Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast, represents the work of 40 young people currently living in residential units across Northern Ireland. The work was produced at a ‘Twilight’ week-long Halloween programme of music, song-writing, film making, writing, painting and crafts, last year.
This innovative arts-based programme provided intensive support for young people living in residential units across Northern Ireland, building up their self-confidence and self-esteem. Commissioned by the Public Health Agency (PHA) and delivered by Artscare in a number of venues, the concluding exhibition runs until 5 April and everyone is encouraged to call in to view the impressive range of work on show.
Dr Eddie Rooney, Chief Executive, PHA, said: “This exhibition shows the significant role the arts can play in motivating young people, building confidence, skills and self-esteem.
“We are delighted to be involved in this programme as it promotes creative and artistic expression for the young participants and, by sharing their work, brings benefits to the whole community.
“The work on show is great and I would urge everyone to come to the exhibition and see it for themselves.”
The Twilight Zone artwork and exhibition is part of an action plan from the PHA and Health and Social Care Board-led group looking at the health needs of children and young people in care. The group includes a number of community and voluntary organisations, including Voice of Young People in Care (VOYPIC), who bring the views of the young people to the plans and development. The work supports the Children’s Services Framework and the Public Health Agency will build on this arts-based intervention, to improve the health and wellbeing of looked-after children and young people.
Dr Jenny Elliott, Chief Executive, Arts Care, reflected on the positive outcomes of the Twilight Project and highlighted the significance of creative engagement and expression in enhancing the well-being and sense of self for young people living in care.
According to Dr Elliott, the emotions and feelings of young people are sometimes more authentically accessed and expressed through song, film or an art image than the spoken word.
One of the young people taking part in the work, based at the Lyric Theatre, Belfast, said: “I can’t believe how normal I feel here, not odd. I just love singing and I love working on making my voice better”.
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Notes to the editor
- The launch of the Twilight exhibition of various art pieces produced by the young people will take place at 5.30pm at the Crescent Arts Centre, University Road, Belfast on Thursday 29 March. The work will be exhibited for one week from this date and the public are encouraged to call and view.
- The Twilight programme was supported by internationally successful artists such as composer Brian Irvine who undertook an intensive week of work and support creating a variety of musical pieces with a group of young people in Belfast. This concluded with a performance of the work they had created at the Lyric Theatre.