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Children’s artwork expressing feelings on the COVID-19 pandemic now on display at Saatchi Gallery

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Some of the artwork at Saatchi Gallery

Published: 5 August 2021

Young people in Westminster have used their artistic talents to showcase their emotions and experiences of the COVID-19 pandemic and feelings in support of the Black Lives Matter movement.

In a project called Creative Collective by Westminster City Council, young people were tasked with producing original artworks of any kind, including audio clips, short films, poems, paintings, drawings, statements or digital work, which reflect themes dominating the UK agenda. These included lockdown, resilience and hope, community and Black Lives Matter.

The incredible pieces of work can now be viewed until 31 August in the Learning Gallery in the world-renowned Saatchi Gallery as part of the JR Chronicles Exhibition.

The Westminster Creative Collective was established by the Council’s cultural youth engagement programme – City Lions in partnership with children’s services, local schools, professional artists, libraries and archives to mark 2020 and 2021 as a significant moment in time and to capture the thoughts and feelings of young people in Westminster.

Members of the public are able to visit Saatchi Gallery and experience the powerful and original pieces of work in person.

Previously, the artwork was displayed at libraries across the city.

Hind, aged 7, was extremely proud when she saw her artwork on the wall at Queen's Park library and smiled next to her picture.

Hind at Queen's Park Library

All artwork can also be found at an online gallery

Cllr Timothy Barnes, Cabinet Member for Young People and Learning at Westminster City Council, said:

I am really pleased we were able to set up the Creative Collective to help our young people display their talents and share their perspectives over the huge events we have seen over the last two years. Covid, lockdown, disruptions to schooling and equality demonstrations have all had a real impact on their lives and emotions and much of that is expressed in these artworks. 

The pieces they have created are inspiring and I hope they feel real pride at having them displayed at the Saatchi Gallery and in our public spaces. If you aren’t able to see them at their best in person, please do look at the whole series online.

Lala Thorpe, Head of Learning at Saatchi Gallery, said:

The Saatchi Gallery is really proud and excited to be exhibiting the Westminster Creative Collective in our prestigious Learning Gallery this summer.

The exhibition shows a fantastic range of talented young artist’s work, dealing with important social themes and issues through a variety of mediums including painting, photography and poetry.