City groups inspired by Grayson’s work

Life through a lens: Turning Negatives Into Positives, the banner made by the B2b Project. Below, from left, Grayson Perry, Kat Adamson, Debra Ratcliff and Laura Gooch, with the artist's tapestry, The Adoration of the Cage Fighters.

Life through a lens: Turning Negatives Into Positives, the banner made by the B2b Project. Below, from left, Grayson Perry, Kat Adamson, Debra Ratcliff and Laura Gooch, with the artist's tapestry, The Adoration of the Cage Fighters.

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THE concept of taste was a hot topic when three community groups took part in an art project to explore their own identities.

An international group of women from Sunderland Women’s Centre and young and expecting mothers from the B2b (Bumps to babies) project joined teenagers from an education inclusion project at Herrington Burn YMCA, to work with textile artist Louise Underwood.

As part of the Arts Council England-funded project, the budding artists created artworks to reflect their own tastes, thinking about the images, brands and symbols which represent them and their lives.

“Each group discussed their own ideas about taste and what their tribe shared in terms of hobbies, interests and passions,” said Louise.

“These ideas were translated into images and words to add to the textile banners. The groups learned new skills, including sewing sock creatures, fabric painting, batik and embroidery.

“It was fantastic to see them growing in confidence through the project and enjoying the social aspect of learning and developing ideas together.”

Taking inspiration from Channel 4 film All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry, the sessions were held to coincide with today’s launch of the artist’s Tribal Badges Exhibition at Sunderland Museum, which runs until the end of September.

The aim of the project was to encourage participants to explore their own identities and learn new skills in a creative environment, using the tapestries and the film of Grayson’s visit to Sunderland as inspiration.

“Everyone taking part gained so much from the opportunity to engage directly with Grayson’s work, and develop their own ideas about their taste tribes and sense of individual and group identity,” Louise added.

“The groups particularly benefited from the chance to work together over a sustained period, and forge friendships and a sense of pride in the quality of work they had achieved.”

Councillor John Kelly, Sunderland City Council’s cabinet member for public health, wellness and culture, said: “Sunderland’s Museum and Winter Gardens is home to a fantastic collection of art and artefacts, and hosting the Grayson Perry exhibition as the first venue on the national tour is great for the city.”