CHESTERFIELD: Museum hosts Watch This Space exhibition by young people

The launch of the Watch This Space exhibition at the Chesterfield Museum
The launch of the Watch This Space exhibition at the Chesterfield Museum

Young people share their favourite things in a new exhibition launched to coincide with Chesterfield’s first community arts festival.

Watch This Space, which is on display at the town’s museum, features everything from a one-eyed teddy to a Bible book, a stamp collection to a football.

The dozen youngsters involved in the intiative are from Birdholme and Boythorpe and have been helped by creative artistes, youth workers and museum staff.

Exhibitors include four brothers and sisters from the same family - Letisha Percival, 18, Sophie Turner, 15, Blake Turner, 14, and Chris Turner, 13, who live in Birdholme.

Letisha, who is doing a foundation course in hair and beauty at Chesterfield College, said she had enjoyed contributing poetry to the project.”I like the history of Chesterfield,” she said.

Their mum Vikki attended the launch of the exhbition. She said: “I am so proud of all of them. I am amazed; I didn’t think they would stick with it but they have proved me wrong. I think it is great.”

As well as contributing their treasured possessions, the exhibitors - most of whom are pupils at Parkside School - were invited to choose their favourite items from the museum to include in the display.

These range from a permanent wave machine and 50s hooded hair dryer, sourced from a salon in Clay Cross, to a cookie jar made by Pearsons Pottery.

The group launched their exhibition on Friday, May 3, by reading verses which they had composed with performance poet Dave Stickman Higgins.

Launching the exhibition, Cllr Amanda Sergeant, executive member for culture, leisure and tourism on Chestefield Borough Council , said: “So many times when you hear about young people and teenagers all you hear is negativity and it is a privilege to hear such positivity. As a community we can come together and create art and experience ideas and we can learn together and grow together. I want to congratulate you all on what you have achieved.”

Framed certificates were presented to the young exhibitors to mark their achivements.

The project is a collaboration between The Mighty Creatives, youth workers from the Chesterfield Central Multi-Agency Team and staff at the museum.

The young people were set a challenge to look at their museum and art gallery differently. By thinking about objects and the stories they hold, they explored their own lives, identities and what is important to them.

The group focused on drama, music, poetry, film and photography during the four-month initiative. They worked with staff at the museum for two hours every week, including school holidays, and went behind the scenes to learn more about the collection.

Watch This Space is on show at Chesterfield Museum until August 3.

Pictured: Anne-Marie Knowles from Chesterfield Museum is pictured explaining how the permanent wave machine would style hair in the Fifties to Letisha Percival.