Burnley teens put their art into workshops

This Is Lancashire: A group trip to the source of the River Calder. A group trip to the source of the River Calder.

YOUNGSTERS in Burnley have been getting creative using the local waterways as their inspiration.

A group of eight teenagers, aged 13 to 19 years old, have been involved with a project called Undercurrents which aims to get them engaging with the rivers in Burnley, using creative activities such as filmmaking, photography, creative writing and visual art.

The project was set up as part of the Urban Rivers Enhancement Scheme funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund last year, and is run by Burnley Leisure’s Arts Development Team.

Undercurrents is based in the Crib in Burnley Central Library and the group meets one Saturday every month during term time, while extra workshops are run during the school holidays.

While taking part in the project the teenagers have had the opportunity to gain their Bronze Arts Award and are currently working towards their Silver.

So far during the project the group has taken part in river walks in the town along the culverts in Thompsons Park and up to the source of the River Brun.

They have also regularly worked with artist Lucy Bergman, who focuses on creating abstract narrative through film making, illustration, print and writing.

Art work produced has ranged from video dramas, monologues, watercolor paintings and photography.

And the workshops have included work with a variety of guest artists.

Rachel Hawthorn, Arts Engagement Officer for Burnley Leisure Trust, is running the project.

She said: “Undercurrents is giving young people in Burnley the opportunity to discover and explore the hidden rivers that run beneath the town using photography, film making, visual art and creative writing.

“The group really enjoyed taking part in the project and have made lots of new friends as well as gaining nationally recognised qualifications.

“The members are all interested in a range of different art forms, some have gone more towards the writing side creating monologues while other have created short video dramas.

“However they have all had the chance to try out the different art forms.”

The project is soon due to come to an end but they are now hoping to work in Thompsons Park looking at its history.

Rachel added: “The Undercurrents project is due to come to an end this year.

“However the group is looking to put a bid to the Heritage Lottery Fund for their young roots scheme.

“If the bid is successful then they aim to carry out a project concentrating on the heritage of Thompsons Park.”

For more information about the project visit www.burnleyunder currents.blogspot.co.uk

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