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What’s the problem: exhibition in Colchester

23rd September 2019
Posted by Johnny Jenkins

Climate change, politics, rights, capitalism and health – these are the pressing issues facing young people today, according to Young Art Kommunity (YAK), Firstsite’s young people peer-led group which organises creative events and activities within the gallery and the wider community.

They’ve teamed up with flyingleaps, a project that invites artists to produce street posters in response to contemporary events and ideas, to produce the new exhibition What’s the problem? Comprising a series of posters, each work responds to members’ personal concerns, incorporating popular cultural references, bold statements with personal and socio-political commentary and illustrations, typography and arresting images. The works address the visitor directly – challenging them to think about difficult issues.

The artwork has been produced through a series of workshops with flyingleaps artists Mark Titchner, Heath Kane and Dr. D, and founder Adrian Burnham, using Firstsite’s Year of Digital theme as inspiration. 

flyingleaps, who have exhibited twice at Firstsite (2018, 2019), was launched in 2016 as a response to the EU referendum, a vote which excluded those under 18.  Inspired by flyingleaps’ aim to introduce fresh voices into the visual conversations that echo round our urban environments, the posters will be fly posted across Firstsite’s walls to present a colourful exhibition designed to disrupt the way we see the world.

Firstsite Director Sally Shaw says

Firstsite is all about providing a platform for people to express themselves creatively, helping to amplify the voices of those who often aren’t represented in mainstream media or society. “YAK provides a supportive environment where young people can gain experience, develop their confidence and learn new skills. This collaboration between YAK and flyingleaps allows the group to bring their views to the fore, confronting our visitors with the challenges they face in this new and thought-provoking exhibition. We hope this will encourage more young people to join political and social conversations and express their views, whilst giving older generations an insight into the real issues which trouble young people today.”