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Supporting Young Minds: Seascape Biosphere Mural at the Island Learning Centre

Date Created: 21st Jun 2023

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Pupils at the Island Learning Centre – a pupil referral unit on the Isle of Wight, working with young people aged between 11 and 16 – have co-created a stunning and transformative mural, working with professional artist Alice Malia.

The project, which provided young people who have struggled with mainstream education the opportunity to take part in creative activities, was part of Artswork’s Supporting Young Minds investment programme on the Isle of Wight.

Juliet Lainson, Lead Art Teacher at the ILC commented: “This eight-week project provided fantastic opportunities to work outside of the curriculum with authentic and enriching activities for our young people.”

She added: “Working with visiting artists brings fresh and exciting ideas with professional quality. Student voice provided Alice with a brief to which she responded with a hugely inspiring mix of artists and techniques that connected with our students. This enabled them to make informed choices about the project direction and gave them ownership over the final outcome.”

The brief for the artwork was that it should take inspiration from the Isle of Wight Biosphere and should be genuinely place-changing. The students used drone photography of the Island’s coastline to develop their design and there can be no question that the mural has transformed the school’s hall.

Juliet commented: “The finished mural is very soothing with its colour palette of gradient blues. Its shape and form are both erratic and ordered. It has completely changed the feel of a space which before didn’t have a defined purpose. With this in mind, I hope that we can look to changing the function of the room to make it a contemplative area where staff and students alike can sit, be peaceful and re-set.”

Supporting Young Minds was managed on the Isle of Wight by Independent Arts for The Island Collection. Programme manager was Peta Rainford, one of Artswork’s new Placemaking Creative Producers.

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