The Treasure Group’s Imaginary UK Tour Exhibition

Published: 14th May 2019

The Treasure Group’s Imaginary UK Tour

Opening 13th May 2019 in Upper Fusion Gallery at The Customs House

Yesterday The Treasure Group celebrated the end of their first creative project supported by National Lottery Players. The Treasure Group is our arts group for children with experience of care. We focus on children aged 7 to 13 (roughly!) as the transition from primary to secondary can sometimes see a dip in young people’s confidence and attainment.

During the preview The Treasure Group were delighted to receive a visit from Takeover Team. The team were busy in the building holding a meeting for the forthcoming Takeover Festival. It was lovely to see older young people supporting their younger counterparts. Their interest was the cherry on the cake.

When you next come down to The Customs House take a moment to look at their fantastic show. You can find it on the top floor of our building. We think it really compliments the current bountiful offering of children’s art on show. Make sure you see  ‘The Takeover Open’ in the main gallery and ‘Beastly!’ in the Step Up Gallery while you’re here!

Our Imaginary UK Tour exhibition in the Upper Fusion Gallery.

Our Imaginary UK Tour exhibition in the Upper Fusion Gallery.

About The Exhibition

The ‘Imaginary UK Tour’ exhibition is the work produced of young artists from our first project funded by The Big Lottery.  Thanks to National Lottery players this year at The Customs House we are running three creative projects for children with experience of the care system. Alongside some Go and See visits.

The choice of materials and techniques for this project came from consultation with the young people. The children identified a range of artforms they would like to try. We decided as their interests were so varied we would take an imaginary tour of the United Kingdom. This meant we could explore architecture, the natural world and our cultural heritage.

Thinking about the textiles industry and weaving The Treasure Group has a go at weaving colourful wools.

Thinking about the textiles industry and weaving The Treasure Group has a go at weaving colourful wools.

The Sessions

Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer at The Customs House asked Alizon Bennet to be the lead artist. Alizon an artist, designer and illustrator. Recently, Alizon has helped young families design picture books with The Cultural Spring and sourced costumes for our Youth Theatre Productions. However Alizon’s creative practice is incredibly diverse including puppets design, making collaborative banners, reupholstering furniture and teaching.  The children really enjoyed working with Alizon. She helped us try out lots of new and unexpected techniques. In this exhibition you can see printing, weaving, collage, drawing, writing and sculpture.

We tapped into the children’s naturally inquisitive nature. The focus was on letting them explore and play. Each week we imagined visiting a different city. We traveled from familiar places like Newcastle and Durham to places they’ve never been. We loved visiting Scotland via Edinburgh and Glasgow thinking about the Loch Ness Monster and postcards. The North West proved popular with wool from Manchester and the yellow submarine in Liverpool. Finally headed to the capital, and the children made t-shirts ‘I Visited London and All I Got Was this Lousy T-Shirt’… there was of course nothing lousey about their colourful designs.

Their Exhibition

Each young artist presents a suitcase filled with their experimental artworks. Souvenirs of our virtual and artistic journey.

Elizabeth Kane Learning Officer said,

The imaginary destinations were really creative staring points. Yes we had a theme each week but Alizon was unafraid encouraged the young artists make their own decisions. They sometimes took things in unexpected ways.

That to me is a real mark of the projects success. They owned everything they did putting their own magic into their artwork. I am really proud of all they have achieved.

Imaginary Tour Signpost with our imaginary River Mesey in the background

Imaginary Tour Signpost with our imaginary River Mesey in the background

Thank You

All the staff at The Customs House think The Treasure group have done an amazing job. Every child who took part has developed their ability to take creative risks. Its not easy to take a chance and try something different. This can be especially tricky when you know your work will be on public display.

Thank you to the children, their carers, Alizon Bennet and players of the National Lottery. We can’t wait to see where our next journey takes us.

The Treasure Group enjoyed thinking about all the boats and people on the River Mersey... can you spot the yellow submarine?

The Treasure Group enjoyed thinking about all the boats and people on the River Mersey… can you spot the yellow submarine?

Want to know more?

You can see Alizon’s work here www.alizonbennet.com

If you are a foster carer and would like to know more about The Treasure Group email Elizabeth@customshouse.co.uk