A Midsummer Night’s Dream Street Art - working with teenagers to bring "Shakey" to a local community in Preston.
Working with community partners Young People’s Service, Preston and the Community Gateway Association, the plan was to create a piece of street art inspired by a recently acquired painting in the Harris’ collection – Puck by Richard Dadd.
Run in February half-term 2012, with St Matthews Mission as a base, this project followed on from a project with young people completed in the YMCA at Samuel Street the year before.
This project was for young people up to 18 years of age that were known to the Young People’s Service and the youth offending team.
It was a small team but they worked really hard on the project over the course of a week. Kyra Milnes from the Harris worked with the teenagers in a support role, alongside the graffiti artist Phil Hunter and Abdul Lodge (Young People’s Worker - Targeted Support).
The group created their own design exploring the characters in the play by William Shakespeare, A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Their design features Puck and Shakespeare or “Shakey” as the group called him. It also features their own “sprite” in the form of a woman who leaves a positive pink mist over the scene.
The work was created onto marine ply wood so that it could be exhibited outdoors semi-permanently on the adjacent wall to Shakespeare Avenue in St. Matthews.
The wall that the art work was exhibited on was identified by the Community Development Officer from the Community Gateway Association. We consulted the local residents from the surrounding area first to ensure that they approved and accepted the graffiti project idea in their community.
Puck in St.Matthew’s was on display for a year in the community and generated some very positive reactions after being officially opened by the Guild Mayor of Preston in a launch ceremony held at St Matthews Mission for the whole community – including the parents of the young people that created the artwork.