;-) :-& ;-O Art for Young People (Adults Welcome)
Rebecca Davies, 2021

An exhibition by artist Rebecca Davies for young people and adults to inspire conversation and play.

Exhibition space with bright blue wall hangings, orange painted walls, large screens showing art films and two very large purple and yellow chairs
Copyright, 2021, Rebecca Davies, LBBD and Jimmy Lee
Two adults and two children looking at the art film on a screen placed on a red plinth
Two women smiling and looking at drinks bottles outside and underneath a gazeboo
A young boy playing with a yellow button displayed on a big red circle placed on a blue wall
Three young people interacting with an artwork
Three people sitting on the large yellow, purple and pink chairs placed on a gree circular mat in the middle of the exhibition space

"Why are younger people so much better at playing and being creative than adults? Do adults forget how to do it as they get older?" Artist Rebecca Davies made this exhibition at Valence House Museum in Dagenham for children and teenagers to hang out and show adults how to be creative. Her aim was to make a space for staff working in social care to interact with the young people they support. Many of the works in the show were made with children, young people and foster carers in Barking and Dagenham.

The show presented gigantic, noisy art made with young people at the many New Town Culture clubs and projects with foster familes. Videos, light projections, animation, printed wall hangings and sculptures enveloped the room in colour and energy. Splashed across every surface, it invited young poeple and adults to explore, chat and get to know each other a little more.

For more infomation about the ideas explored in the show please see the New Town Culture pamphlet.

"New Town Culture feels like progress in that it is leading to action, tangible change and actual infrastructural decision and policy making as a result of the work. So, for me, it has been exciting and energising to be a part of." (Rebecca Davies)
Rebecca Davies

Rebecca Davies has a collaborative practice that crosses illustration, design, performance and event. Her work explores the role of art in making change, as a device and platform, to represent and communicate complex stories and politics. She has run participation projects with Turner Contemporary, Tate, South London Gallery and was lead artist for the Whitechapel Gallery Community Workshops for three years. Rebecca and artist Anna Francis set up The Portland Inn Project CIC in 2016 in Stoke on Trent working with artists, arts organisations and residents to improve their community and renovate an old pub building.