Pride and Romance – painting life-sized figures in our art sessions

3figures combinedTwo weeks into our block of art sessions and the young people have settled into a routine, word of mouth has spread and numbers have swelled. We have moved on from clay sculpture to creating three life-sized figures, painted to represent themselves as they would like to be in the future, “if dreams came true”. The face would later be removed so they can stand behind it and add their own face through the hole.

Two of the young people who had not really engaged in the clay work (preferring to watch or spend the time texting) really took to this idea, although in very contrasting styles.

After18 life-sized figure paintingOne young person who seemingly had never held a paintbrush before, was content to slap as much paint on as quickly as and nonchalantly as possible. At the end, however, after a bit of help with the background he was visibly impressed by what he had achieved with his footballer portrait. He painted his name with flourish across the top.

The other young person has spent many hours carefully and intricately painting a “James Bond” style figure in a suit with fine brushes. He decided to set this very western looking gentleman against the backdrop of  his home in the Afghan mountains.

After18 art workshopBoth young people were keen to know where the work would be displayed and were at pains to say that it had to go somewhere a lot of people would see it but that it should be carefully supervised so it wouldn’t get damaged.

The third figure, a man in an Afghan party outfit was a group effort with people taking turns to paint while a group sat around, tea in hand, shouting out instructions and generally enjoying commenting on each other’s efforts. It was decided that this figure was to be placed on a beach, maybe suggesting opportunities for relaxation and fun outside of Afghanistan.

After18 art workshopWhen they weren’t involved in creating the life-sized painting, crayons and pencils were made available to them. The result was a collection of drawings of Afghan flags (minus the “tricky bit in the middle”) plus romantic pictures of flowers, apples and lost loves – although surprisingly for a group of young Afghans there were no poems this time.

As the sessions continue, in a few weeks we will soon be thinking about preparing the young people to adjust to them no longer being part of their routine – fielding questions of “why are we stopping?” – and preparing to exhibit the work.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Who Am I? Artwork exhibition (Oct-Dec)

Tuesday 8 October to Thursday 19 December 2013

Growing Up Strong ceramic After18

At the Fosse Neighbourhood Centre, Mantle Road, Leicester LE3 5HG

This is another chance to see Who Am I?, an exhibition of artwork created by unaccompanied young people, and now extended until 19 December 2013.

Their work includes paintings and clay sculptures created over a series of sessions during the summer of 2013 by young Afghans who are living in Leicester. The activities were run as a partnership between local artist Beate Dehnen and After18.

More background about the process of creating the artwork can be found on our blog post, Snakes and Sculptures.

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Hamedullah: The Road Home

Phoenix Cinema, Saturday 9 November 2013, 4pm

Hamedullah: The Road HomeHamedullah: The Road Home will be shown as part of the Docfilm Festival Leicester.

Every year, many lone children come to the UK from war-zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan. They’ve left behind desperate situations and arrive with few documents or evidence but full of hope and expectations.

This is the story of Hamedullah Hassany. As a young teenager he fled to the UK from Afghanistan but when he turned 18 he was detained and then deported back to Afghanistan. Told with haunting video diary images, this film shows what happened next and his struggle to survive.

The screening will be followed by a Q&A with the film-maker Sue Clayton and Alison Birch from After18.

Venue: Phoenix Cinema, 4 Midland Street, Leicester LE1 1TG at 4-5pm

Tickets are free but limited in number. Reserve yours by emailing editor @ citizenseye.org
Hamedullah: The Road Home was named Best Short Documentary at the London Independent Film Festival in 2012.

“A bold, original documentary comparable to Winterbottom’s In This World.”
Amnesty International

“Shines a spotlight on key issues.”
Dazed and Confused

“A very important film.”
Emma Thompson

 

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail

Who Am I? Artwork exhibition

Saturday 14 to Thursday 19 September 2013

Growing Up Strong ceramic After18

At the Quaker Meeting House, Queens Road, Leicester LE2 1WP

Who Am I? is an exhibition of artwork created by unaccompanied young people.

Their work includes paintings and clay sculptures created over a series of sessions during the summer of 2013 by young Afghans who are living in Leicester. The activities were run as a partnership between local artist Beate Dehnen and After18.

More background about the process of creating the artwork can be found on our blog post, Snakes and Sculptures.

Click here for a map

Facebooktwittergoogle_pluspinterestlinkedintumblrmail