This exhibition offers a glimpse into the work carried out by young people last summer on the Danny. All the participants were at a transition point in their lives – the transition from school to college – made more daunting by the lockdowns, disruptions and uncertainties of Covid.
From a simple starting point – taking rubbings of the textures around the Danny, or collecting and displaying foliage that created interesting patterns, for example – participants build confidence through processes of layering and editing. The simple action of selecting leaves, led to the photographic process of creating cyanotypes. Doodles while chatting led to a zine exploring how young people can use the five ways to wellbeing to ground themselves.
The experience of becoming part of the Danny community that summer, and the exploration of the Danny and riverside area gave the young people space to connect with themselves and each other, and the work they created came together in an exhibition, a zine and short films and animations like this one about ‘taking notice.’
Just as important to us as the creative work they produced was the fact that all the young people who took part said they felt they had been welcomed, listened to and had built their confidence through taking part in the project over the summer. Their feedback has encouraged us to partner up with Canal and River Trust and Youth Federation this summer to build more opportunities for young people from all backgrounds to get involved at the Danny, learn and connect with history and nature and feel good about themselves.