Sabira Moledina sees some art with a purpose in Brixton
Urban Vision, showing at the 198 Gallery, Brixton until August 30, is a youth arts education project addressing social exclusion and deprivation by uniting artists with a cross-section of young people.
The exhibition was launched at the gallery on June 20, also National Children's Art Day, and officially opened by Lee Jasper, advisor to London Mayor Ken Livingstone.
"I am pleased and happy to be invited," said Mr Jasper. " See the work that the youngsters have produced and work they have done in partnership - art makes a big contribution to the environment. You cannot fail to be impressed!"
The event was also graced with the presence of The Mayor of Lambeth, June Fewtrell, and the Mayoress, Pat Creutzberg who were both delighted with all the hard work accomplished by the participants.
"This is a lovely exhibition. It is a good way for children who do not enjoy school to utilise their skills. The kite designs are amazing- very colourful" the Mayor said
Left: Before and After
Particpants in the project included autistic and disabled young people as well as 'those who may be excluded from schools for perpetrating bullying or recipients of bullying who fear coming to school and also become excluded as a result.'
Young offenders and young women identified as having low self-esteem were also among the groups who have benefited from the Urban Vision project.
The work, produced in various media including photography, moving image and 3D, was about students' own hopes and aspirations and these included posters about combating robbery, criminal damage, joyriding and arson.
A group of children from Soweto, South Africa, were also present at the launch and took advantage of the event to commemorate the Soweto uprising on June 17, 1976. The children sang for their audience outside the gallery.
Life Skills instructor from Johannesburg, Shaun Oliver, explained the essence of this day and why it marks an important occasion for the natives of South Africa.
Under the apartheid government, it was compulsory for education to be taught in Afrikaans but students decided to protest against this law.
They amalgamated with students from schools in other towns and began a riot that was the biggest outbreak of violence known to South Africa. Over an eight month period, at least 575 people lost their lives.
This day is established as a public holiday to honour all the young people that lost their lives in the fight against apartheid.
Commonwealth, the talented group of rap/R&B artists who showed their support for the Urban Vision project, performed a couple of numbers, which infused the crowd with even more enthusiasm.
Children were lit with animation and adults were swaying to the rhythm that rewarded the participants' year of hard work in creating this awesome exhibition.