Published: Friday, 10th June 2022

Warwick District Council has partnered with local artist and director of ARTLAB Libby Esler to work with young people aged 11 – 16 to create a series of art installations.

The installations and workshops will allow them to reflect on how the pandemic has affected their wellbeing.

Schools and youth groups from across the district are creating 50 flags through a series of 10 workshops, allowing them to reflect on the past couple of years and look forward to the future. In addition, they will be provided with information and access to art and mental health services available in the area.

The roving pop-up installation will see the flags, designed in the style of Tibetan Prayer Flags, placed on poles in a circle for people to wander through, enjoying the designs and allowing them to reflect. The flags will carry the feelings that the young people have inscribed on them, and they will be blown away into the wind, providing a breathing space to usher out what has past and bring in what is yet to come.

Officers from WDC and artist Libby Esler with the flags

Councillor Judy Falp, Portfolio Holder for Health & Community Protection, said: “Living through the pandemic has had a huge impact on the health and wellbeing of everyone, including young people from across Warwickshire who have had their lives turned upside down.

“Almost every young person has had to adjust to major changes in their education or employment, routine, leisure and home life; some have also experienced bereavement or other traumatic experiences during the lockdown period.

“These workshops offer them the opportunity and a safe space to reflect, talk and express their feelings through art. I’m looking forward to seeing the completed artwork and installation.”

Libby Esler, director of ARTLAB, added: “I'm really looking forward to collaborating with all the young people, we are going to put together a fabulously colourful installation for all to admire! Most importantly we are going to unlock and set off into the wind some of the emotions and feelings that have been locked away in a time of COVID, and the idea that the Tibetan flag carries messages off into the wind will ring true in this case.

“It will be a moment of celebration, reflection, and hope for all who experience it and will raise awareness for the support that is available for young people and their families.”

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