Children’s Commissioner to visit Verbal

The NI Commissioner for Children and Young People Koulla Yiasouma, will visit the Verbal Arts Centre  tomorrow to celebrate the work of young people who have created a vibrant new mural as part of a Children in Need funded initiative.

Picture for blog story Children’s Commissioner to visit Verbal

Over the last 12 weeks the Verbal’s Reading Rooms programme has worked with a group of young people in the city through Extern, examining the challenges faced in relation to mental health and how it impacts on emotional well-being.

During each Reading Rooms session the group shared a short story and poem specifically selected to focus on conversation openly discussing how mental health has a huge impact on young people’s lives.

The second stage of the programme had the group work with a team of artists including acclaimed London-based artist Morag Myerscough to create a large-scale piece of temporary art on the wall adjacent to the Verbal Arts Centre. Her work is characterised by an engaging boldness, creating specific, local responses to each distinct audience that will see and experience the design, using it to create community and build identity. She makes places from spaces that people like to be in, which stimulate and often make you smile.

Myerscough creates and curates many different types of work. The eclectic breadth covers the conversion of a train to a café, installations, numerous exhibitions and interpreting buildings. She has designed several exhibits for London’s Design Museum from Archigram to Formula 1 as well as the exterior of the British Pavilion for the 2004 Venice Biennale. She was awarded the contract to create the Design Museum’s permanent exhibition for its new home, one of the UK’s most important new cultural projects. With Cartlidge Levene she designed the wayfinding for the Barbican Centre and continuing their relationship they are currently designing wayfinding for Tate Modern’s new Herzog and De Meuron extension.

Her recent clients range from Zynga in San Francisco to the British Council in Burma. She often works with community groups to develop ideas that reflect the identity of the users, drawing on shared cultural history and heritage of the local area. For the Sorrell Foundation she worked with London teenagers creating a visual narrative for a youth centre based on a poem written by local young people.

Morag established her successful multi-disciplinary company Studio Myerscough in 1993 and founded Supergrouplondon with Luke Morgan in 2010. Being a small, bespoke studio, she often collaborates on projects, pairing with practices as diverse as architects Allford Hall Monaghan Morris (their collaborations were nominated for the RIBA Stirling Prize) and with poet Lemn Sissay on the Movement Café. In 2002, Morag opened Her House, a gallery/shop which has enabled Morag to curate/design/produce and party.

James Kerr, Chief Executive of the Verbal Arts Centre, said they were delighted to welcome the NI Children’s Commissioner to celebrate the creativity of the young people involved in the Reading Rooms project.

“It is an honour to have Koulla Yiasouma, the NI Commissioner for Children and Young People, visit the Centre on Friday to meet the young people who participated in our Reading Rooms project and examined important issues around mental health and emotional well-being, culminating in the creation of a large-scale temporary artwork.

“We are delighted that the young people also had the opportunity to work with an inspirational team of artists including Morag Myerscough to express their ideas through a vibrant temporary artwork adjacent to the Verbal Arts Centre.”

Rachel Duffy, Reading Rooms Youth Project Officer, also paid tribute to the group who participated in the Children In Need funded project which included an exciting visit by both Morag Myerscough and Lemn Sissay earlier this week.

She said: “We have been really impressed by the enthusiasm with which the young people embraced this Reading Rooms project in such a positive and meaningful way; they should be very proud of themselves and the thought-provoking mural they have created for everyone to see in close proximity to the historic City Walls.”


Further information is available from the Verbal Arts Centre, Stable Lane and Mall Wall, Bishop Street Within, Derry~Londonderry, Tel: 028 71 266946.

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