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1st Dec 2019 31st Mar 2022

Artist Sophie Mahon is working with a group of young women from St Helens to co-create and select artworks that articulate a female experience of the local area.

Project Details
  • Place
Creative Team
  • Lead Artist: Sophie Mahon
  • Collaborators: G, Grace, Libby, Lucy, Sandy-Rose
  • Producer: Rhyannon Parry
  • Children & Young People’s Producer: Kate Houlton
  • :

An art exhibition created by young women to articulate their lived experience.

Artist Sophie Mahon has been working with a group of young women to develop an art exhibition that will tour across the Merseyside region from December 2021.

The group, who range in age from 15-25 have been working with Sophie over the last year. Together with Sophie they have been developing their experience in different artforms including film, photography, poetry, sculpture, and installation. Through these creative mediums the group have explored issues that are important to them and have supported one another to develop their creativity.

Photo of an art work by Sophie Mahon: A standalone stained glass window is displayed on a plinth. It contains shapes, images and words to do with St Helens.
Exhibition display of photos taken by the young women. The pictures are of different parts of St Helens and have been taken using a tinted film.
Text based artwork with the words: "Young girls shouldn't be taught to look over their shoulder as they grow up... young boys should be taught not to assault. Everybody should be taught consent
A woman in a yellow jumper holds a small fluffy black dog as she sits and watches a film in the gallery.

As part of their learning, the group have visited exhibitions in Leeds and London including The Tetley, Tate Modern and Wellcome Collection. These visits, alongside working with Sophie to create their own art works, have built their knowledge and understanding of curatorial and artistic processes.

This project has been commissioned by Heart of Glass with support by Paul Hamlyn Foundation as part of the Young Hearts Programme exploring young women’s voice and experiences living and growing up in St Helens.

Two young women point and smile at shapes being projected onto cardboard. There are holes in the in the cardboard.
A small cardboard sculpture of a house with wires all around
A person is wearing a house shaped box on their head covering their face. Coloured lights are projected on to the house.
In the foreground there is a piece of card with a hole in, through it we see a young women sat at a desk.

Following many changes, shifts and turns due to covid this project finally began to take shape and build momentum in summer 2021.

The direction and themes of the regular sessions have been developed in response to the topics, themes and issues that are important to the group and the processes and activities have been shaped by the group member’s interests and feedback.

Black handwriting on a white background reading 'Over the past few months, this project with Heart of Glass has become a safe environment for me to open up about my life as a woman.'
Black handwriting on a white background reading 'I have really enjoyed being part of a group that totally understand and support eachother. We've helped eachother up, not pulled eachother down.'
Black handwriting on a white background reading 'We were given the chances to explore our creativity and thoughts, getting to know each and meeting others was a pro to this.'

This will result in the creation of collaborative artwork(s) inspired by the interests of the group that will be presented back to the town as part of a co-created exhibition in December 2021 (see below). The exhibition will feature and celebrate the artwork created by the group along with a series of specially selected artworks chosen by the group.

The works will then go on to tour to schools, colleges and venues across the Liverpool City Region with the aim of shining a light on the experiences and views of the young women from St Helens and open up a broader discussion and dialogue with other young women across the region around the issues and themes that are important to this group.

This project has been commissioned by Heart of Glass with support by Paul Hamlyn Foundation. The Young Hearts programme is about creating a safe and welcoming space for young women to learn together, share their stories, and to develop their creativity.

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