This month, we’ve witnessed a riot of creativity and imagination across the country. We were spoilt for choice in picking projects for our monthly Raise Your Hands update, so we’ve selected a festival of music, animations and sculpture to share with you. It’s a wonderful feast for the eyes and ears, so sit back and enjoy!

April leapt into action with the sound of young carers in Sutton working together on a harmonious music project. The young people, aged between eight and fourteen, were given the opportunity to collaborate with Mike Poyser, our world-class tuba player who has performed with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra at the BBC Proms, and Phoebe Osborne, our composer and multi-instrumentalist. Together, they composed songs about freedom and friendship, vitally important themes for young carers who often experience feelings of isolation and loneliness. They then proudly performed their original compositions for the parents and loved ones they care for. Check out their song “Shake It ‘Til You Drop”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0vxVuIFbcj0

In Winchester, 10 young carers were introduced to the world of stop-motion animation, exploring the theme ‘Who I Am.’ This motif allowed them to share their experiences, bond with one another, and express themselves in a supportive and encouraging environment that recognises their lives and interests beyond being “just” young carers.

Taking creative control, the young people crafted 2D characters and storyboards inspired by their sense of identity. Photographing their scenes frame-by-frame, their stories came to life as they overdubbed voiceovers and audio effects to add new dimensions to their films. With the young carers’ imaginations free to roam, we step into worlds where talking pizzas narrowly escape the tyranny of a “Zebra of Doom”, and transportational vortexes lure festival-goers into entrapping video game-worlds. Embracing the group’s sense of humour and gift for the fantastical filled the sessions with positivity, making for three fun-filled days of creativity.

Watch their animated film “The Zebra of Doom”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uHGqix_8uU

In Uxbridge, a group of twelve young carers explored escapist motifs of fantasy worlds and cityscapes to create sculptures from coloured paper and card. They tested the limits of their imaginations as they designed space-age buildings, nestled alongside replicas of buildings from Uxbridge, creating a surreal portrait of their hometown.

Taking their creativity to unexplored areas, the young carers then constructed abstract pop-up paper sculptures. Shining coloured lights on their handiwork, they photographed the effects, creating images to share with their loved ones and keep as a lasting memento of what they achieved. Check out some of their work in the gallery below.

April also saw the launch of Rembrandt & Modern Masters, an exhibition of 17th century etchings, unveiled for the first time in over a decade in support of Create. Rembrandt was an extravagant spender, so much so that when he was declared bankrupt his son Titus was forced to take charge of the family’s finances aged just fifteen. When his father later became ill, Titus’s caring responsibilities expanded further. This support echoes that of the young carers we work with, many of whom take on responsibilities for parents who would otherwise be unable to support themselves. It feels a fitting tribute to Titus that the money raised through the exhibition (see below) will enable us to help young carers and other vulnerable children and adults.

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The exhibition runs at the John Davies Gallery in the Cotswolds until 7 May, alongside a selection of original prints by artists including David Hockney, Lucian Freud, Grayson Perry and Pablo Picasso. We receive a percentage of each sale, together with the proceeds of the Rembrandt catalogue. For more information, visit: http://www.johndaviesgallery.com/.

To find out about more of our projects with disadvantaged and vulnerable children and adults visit our blog.

Uxbridge young carers - gallery

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