Spokeswoman Clare O’Driscoll said: “The artists, who all attend a club run by Crawley Community Youth Service (CCYS) were challenged to think about art in new ways. Focussing on the theme Belonging, they each came up with a word or phrase which they then turned into a piece of graffiti art to be displayed in the exhibition.
“Professional graffiti artist Gyro (Tom Goulden) from innovative youth charity Priority 1-54 led the group in mulling over ideas and inspiration, teaching them the specific techniques of his craft.
“For many of the young people, it was the first time they had tried this and it made the whole concept of art shift in their minds.”
“It had a really positive effect on me” says Dilan Nye (17).
“Before doing the project I thought art was just about looking at a picture but this has completely changed how I see it. I suddenly understood you can use it to express how you feel.”
Meanwhile, Beth Humphrey (15) says that trying a new kind of art was interesting: “Street art has different meanings – it’s a bit more alternative.”
The vivid panels created by the young people shout positive messages of hope and belonging about pride, respect and being yourself. Blending colours reflect the diversity of the community here – different strands merging to create something beautiful and striking.
“I just felt like it brought us all together,” says Lee Daley (14). “Obviously the words were about being a community and our youth is a community of different people and it’s really diverse.”
The exhibition debuted at B.fest, an award-winning part of the Brighton Fringe in May, along with other work from local youth artists. Next it will move to Broadfield Arts Festival (June 8-21) as part of the Crawley Festival, before its final exhibition at Gossop Rocks Car Show (Dormans Youth Arts Centre, Gossops Green on July 20).
The young people, who are working towards an Arts Award, will also be brightening up a wall at Dormans with their new skills.
Crawley Community Youth Service was founded in 2011 to deliver universal youth services. It is formed of individuals, groups and organisations from the community interested in providing a community driven youth service open to all young people.
CCYS works to provide a youth service open to all young people. They support and run a service that benefits young people through youth clubs, one-off projects and community events or just simply providing safe places for young people to go.