The Northern Ireland Commissioner for Children and Young People, Koulla Yiasouma, visited the Verbal Arts Centre on Friday to celebrate the work of young people who created a vibrant new mural as part of a Children in Need funded initiative.
For 12 weeks the Verbal’s Reading Rooms programme 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 session the group shared a short story and poem chosen to focus conversation on discussing how mental health and its impact on young people’s lives.
The second stage of the programme saw 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. 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.
James Kerr, Chief Executive of the Verbal Arts Centre, welcomed the Commissioner, saying: “It is an honour to have Koulla Yiasouma. 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, paid tribute to the group, saying: “They should be very proud of themselves and the thought-provoking mural.”