News, Events and Culture

Teen art project benefits from Creative Communities funding

Tuesday February 7 2017

Palmerston North's Youth Space recently hosted a small exhibition of stencilled art created by a group of teenagers during a school holiday workshop.

Photo shows Gemma and local teens standing among their artwork.

Gemma Farrell in front of some of the participants of her stencil art workshops. Left to right: Keri Connelly (aka Mad Monkey), Tyler Addison (Guardias), Emma Cunningham (Maddie) and Sam Lynch (Malfoy). Not pictured, Caitlin Kirkwood (aka Azadz).

Local artist Gemma Farrell (aka Gembol) ran the Swamp City Stencil Art workshops over six sessions with the assistance of a Creative Communities Scheme grant.

Farrell wanted to give young people an opportunity to create something over the holidays. “Stencil art is an art form inspired by street art and is relatable to the age group,” she says. “It's accessible to everyone and a unique form of expression.”

The workshops were held at UCOL, where the participants worked on concepts, developed their imagery and created stencils using a projector. The most time consuming part of the project was gradually cutting out the stencils using blades and cutting mats.

“Stencil-making is a long process as you build you many layers of colour.” Those many layers of sprayed paint were applied at Gemma Farrell’s working studio – ‘In the Shade’. “The actual spray painting doesn’t take too long. It is all the preparation work that takes up a lot of the time.”

There was much enthusiasm from the five teenagers, aged between 16 and 19, who worked collaboratively and individually on their works. They enjoyed working together and achieved a sense of pride from creating something others admired. They also expressed some disbelief and delight at producing so many works of such high quality.

Farrell is keen to repeat the workshops, and the teens are keen to continue creating art from the knowledge they gained.

The next round of Creative Communities funding opens on 1 March. Organisers of cultural and artistic projects at the planning stage are invited to apply. For information about eligible projects and an application form, see Creative Communities Scheme