In a series of art sessions taking place at The Fox and Holgate Windmill, New Visuality has toured Holgate Ward with the creative ideas of young people from the area.

The art sessions took place in schools and art sessions held at St Paul’s Square Creative Club, Carr Junior, Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Holgate Windmill, and York Bridge Club. 50 young people were engaged in designing posters and Christmas cards in collaboration with older citizens of the Ward, who included neighbours who had responded to fliers and Single Parents who live in the Ward. Items are on display at Fox Pub, York Bridge Club, and Holgate Windmill, with work representing the ideas of intergenerational creativity.

New Visuality director Greg McGee is delighted with the work so far. “Young people and Older Citizens have so much to learn from each other, and Holgate, with one foot in the past and one foot in the future, is the perfect place to get the sessions up and running. The artwork represents a mix of cultural favourites: films, books, songs. It’s been humbling to watch the project take off and we are massively grateful to Holgate Ward for funding us.”

Holgate Ward’s young people represented their neighbourhood with hard work and a sharp sense of fun. Gemma of Hamilton Drive says, “I loved hearing about the favourites of the young people. I also loved sharing my ideas. It’s been a long time since anyone showed such interest in my opinions! It was great fun.” Beech Avenue’s Sylvie enjoyed leaving the house, “York Bridge Club is an amazing place. Holgate Windmill was great too, I had not been there before, and it’s right on my doorstep! It just goes to show how far a knock on the door can go.”

Carr Junior pupils provided ideas under the battle cry, ‘Lights! Camera! Action!’ Says Carr Junior Year 6 teacher Mr Johnson, “We have 26 children from the Holgate Ward area who have provided cultural ideas for this project. The sessions were lots of fun and allowed children to express themselves whilst developing their creative skills.”

Our Lady Queen of Martyrs School welcomed sessions from the New Visuality team both in school and during the holidays. Says teacher Ms Wall, “The sessions this year were an opportunity for our pupils to use cutting edge digital creativity which, due to economic realities, they would otherwise not have been able to enjoy. The children, acting as ambassadors and liaising with older citizens in the area, have been talking about their experiences and proudly bringing their artwork into school. They had a great time!”

Greg is looking forward to the next phase of the project. “We aim to take young people and the older citizens to meet Santa at Holgate Windmill’s ‘Santa at the Mill’ and design Christmas cards, using some of the iconography we have built up from our discussions of the past century. We will continue with baking bread via the ‘Mini Millers’ sessions at the Windmill, and hopefully get some posters printed for exhibition during York Residents’ Weekend. Holgate Mill is ideally placed for all things Holgate, and we are grateful to the staff and sponsors who run such a jewel in the city’s crown, not only to restore it but also to make it a viable, contemporary place to visit, get creative, and hang out. And the shop’s great too!”

New Visuality ‘Shared Stories’ is an ongoing project funded by City of York Council’s Holgate Ward


For more information on Holgate Windmill, visit: https://www.holgatewindmill.org/

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