Very proud to have brought the group project I’ve been leading, ‘SIXTEEN’, to Liverpool and Southport.
Work on show at Tate Liverpool, Open Eye Gallery, Ropes and Twines and The Atkinson, Southport and earlier at The Williamson in Birkenhead.
Great to see some of the young people come down to see themselves on the gallery walls and to witness the sense of pride they felt at having their stories heard.
Here’s a few pics……
Installation at Tate, Liverpool
Saul, with his picture at Tate, Liverpool - see his story below
Halima at Ropes and Twines (story below)
Ridah at Ropes and Twines (story below)
Saul, 16, Sunderland
"I’ve been in care since I was a year and a half years old. I’m now classed as a care leaver. Social services, say I’m actually the worst case they’ve ever brought into care. Ever.
I got put into numerous foster placements and then when I was about fourteen I got put in a care home. Everything started falling apart and then I moved to Wales and it got to the point where I tried to kill myself, in three weeks, one hundred and forty-seven times. I got put in hospital. They were sectioning me and all this… it got really far.
The hospital let me go and I was fine and I felt ‘I want to get a piercing’. I already had my ears done. That was the start of it. I went to a piercing studio and I got my bridge done and then suddenly I didn’t feel as I was wanting to hurt myself anymore. And I was, like, ‘I don’t understand’. Next time I felt like it I went and got my lip done and that was the new way for me to self harm and for it to not look as bad as it should.
It was only because of the problems and issues I had that I started getting piercings and that.
Self harmer’s will say to you that the reason they cut themselves is because they feel they’re not there, they don’t exist and they cut themselves to feel the pain so they know they’re real. It was only because of the problems and issues I had that I started getting piercings and that. When I need to self harm, I don’t self harm I go and get a piercing."
Halima, 16, Nelson, Lancashire
“I want to be happy and I feel like the one way you can win in life is just to be happy and right now I’m happy with things and even though I get emotional or I get negative thoughts I just think ‘be grateful for where you are. Just be grateful’ ”
Ridah, 16, Brierfield, Lancashire
“You look at me and I’m brown obviously cause my skin colour’s brown so you probably think I’m a Muslim but I don’t really… I know I shouldn’t be saying this but….I’m not really Islamic. Most Muslims wear scarf, like it’s the way they’re portrayed isn’t it, like you should wear scarf, do this, do that, can’t go out. You’re not allowed to do this. Men. Women. It’s all biased. I don’t like it. At all.
Stereotypical, that’s what it is. Stereotypical.”