Young artists cross borders and boundaries with maiden exhibition
Laura Elliott of (V&A) with members of the Arts Steering Group who are also participants on the Blue Train Project most of whom are Newham residents. L-R: Keran Mutoka, Gemma Shakespeare, Laura Elliott, Rasheed Bushura, Nicole Chapman
Over 70 local young artists from across east London have kick started their first ever multi-media art exhibition, as part of a unique project inspired by the ground breaking artistic collaborations of a revolutionary Russian ballet troupe.
Blue Train project participants aged 14-24 worked alongside professional artists, performers and curators to develop their own works inspired by the current Victoria and Albert Museum (V&A) exhibition Diaghilev and the Golden Age of the Ballets Russes.
Their works, including a performance, will be displayed in a series of evolving exhibitions starting at East Gallery in Newham (8th November to 11th December 2010) and followed by their very own coveted space at the V&A (3rd December 2010 to 15th January 2011).
Blue Train is delivered by local regeneration charity East Potential, in partnership with the V&A, with significant funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund (£24,300) and Arts Council England (£30,000).
The Ballets Russes was an early 20th Century Russian ballet company whose successful artistic collaborations with the likes of Matisse, Picasso and Chanel saw them revolutionise performance, art and design. Mirroring this model, the collaborations of Blue Train’s young participants has seen them develop costumes, sets, choreography, music and art for a performance of their own.
A few members of the Set-Design workshop led by Matthieu Dufour & Rebecca Hurst and students from the Rokeby School in Newham. L-R: Matthieu Dufour, Sam Skaikay, Rebecca Hurst, Samuel Ikhuoria
The project has seen local participants from Focus E15 Foyer and Rokeby Boys School branch beyond east London into the V&A Diaghilev exhibition to take inspiration from global influences that encourage people to push creative boundaries.
Set Design participant Omar Ansar,14, from Rokeby School said: “This project helps to build confidence and learn design skills. One of the few times that I am doing something that I wouldn’t give up.”
Another participant who has joined the Blue Train Arts Steering Group, Nicole Chapman 18 said: “Joining Blue Train and the arts steering group has really inspired me and given me a brand new light to life. I have enjoyed each and every moment of taking part and met some amazingly talented people.”
Commenting for East Potential, Director Pamela Gardner said: “The young artists have really embraced Blue Train and explored new territory in the rich heritage of art and culture. The project has provided a life changing opportunity for participants who have worked hard to use art and performance to tell their own story. This exhibition will enable them to make their own creative impact and give them the tools to build a brighter future.”
For the Heritage Lottery Fund, Head of HLF London Sue Bowers said: “Blue Train was a revolutionary modern production when staged in the 1920s. Thanks to this project, it is again pushing the boundaries, inspiring young people to explore this heritage which has acted as a catalyst for their own original art and design.”