Art Attack

Art Attack was a week long series of Arts based workshops based at Kala Sangam in Bradford. (This is an ace organisation that organises and facilitates community arts in Bradford. Check out the link at the bottom of the page for more information.) The theme of the week was anti-gun, anti-knife and anti-gang crime and the participents were all young offenders. The aim of the week was to discourage the young prople from re-offending in this way, and to move them away from that kind of lifestyle. 

My workshop was the last of the week and so a culmination of all of the seperate events that had taken place that week. As such, this workshop was a full day instead of the half day of previous Art Attack events. Approx. 10 young people were involved in this project as well as numerous support staff.

The project was named 'Anything But a Gun...' and challenged the young people to take a more positive stance on anti-gun/knife/gang crime than the traditional messages. Instead of using the workshop and the resulting work to deliver a negative message ie: 'don't do this,' 'don't touch that,' 'if you get involved in this then really bad things will hjappen,' etc. I wanted to deliver a more positive message ie: 'what could you do this instead,' 'how great could things be if you choose  a different option etc.'

The young people thought of various objects they could have in their hand instead of a gun, taking inspiration from the infamous and humourous Banksy parody on Reservoir Dogs (mage included below.) They came up with ingenious solutions; baguettes, flowers, hose pipes and baloons. These ideas were then drawn out onto large scale paper, before a demonstration on turning their design ideas into Stencil Graffiti, again taking inspiration from street artist Banksy.

Each young person cut out their own stencil from their original design by hand using a craft knife and cutting board. The stencils were then used to transfer the design to a wooden board using spary paint, with all the safety implications this involved.

Throughout the Art Attack project a documentary film was made by Rad Miller of Pocket Projects and the edited version should be avilable soon. Watch this space for more info. and click on the link at the bottom of the page to find out more about Pocket Projects.

Completed designs are hoped to be displayed in Bradford city centre to spread the word to other vulnerable young people.

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