Flourish: At the Foundling

26 May 2010 - 04 July 2010

This summer the Foundling Museum exhibited the finest and most exciting examples of works submitted through the Flourish programme. Curated by Beatty Hallas, Flourish was set up in 2006 as a response to the frustration voiced by looked-after artists about the lack of opportunity to show their work. It is a showcase for young artists to express themselves and challenge preconceptions of the care system.  

The works displayed vary in subject matter and medium, from photography to mosaic to poetry and the age of artists represented range from 6 to 25 years old. Since 2006 Flourish has continued to champion looked-after artists’ works, inspire creativity and celebrate such colourful talent hoping to encourage confidence and skills toward creative careers.

Holding a new exhibition each year, Flourish was the first national programme to promote artwork by young people with such a diverse history of care. A Flourish board was set up in 2006 with artists, now including those involved in the first show, who select artworks for new shows and advice on policy. It asks artists to make a formal application, giving details about their work and submitting an artist's statement highlighting aspirations and telling their story. The surprising and imaginative artwork is featured in a full colour catalogue.

"You can do anything you want with art, and it can be rubbish to other people, but good to you."  Amy Brittan, Flourish artist 2009 

Flourish was initiated by Newham Children and Young People's Services, London. Flourish displayed two films on its website to coincide with the exhibition.

Image: Flamenco, 2009, stencilled spray paint, 35.6 x 30.5cm by Gordan Jardine

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