By Jessica Warren

Next Gen. Creatives: ‘Between the Lines’

Monday 7 June – 26 July | Gallery 3
A collaborative exhibition by Next Gen. Creatives and artist Christopher Samuel UKNA Connecting the Community
Between the Lines explores young peoples’ lived experiences of shielding during the Covid-19 pandemic, since March 2020. Next Gen. Creatives worked with artist Christopher Samuel to capture their voices and have developed their own artwork that invites audiences to think about how Covid-19 has affected some of the most marginalised and vulnerable young people in our communities.

Next Gen. Creatives invite you to join in the conversation by taking a post card and sharing your own experiences of lockdown

Through a series of workshops over Zoom, the group explored Christopher’s use of redaction in text and how removing and adding text and images can communicate complex emotions and thoughts. Christopher generated prompts for the group to consider such as “how has lockdown made you feel?” in order to draw out and discover shared narratives.
This led to the development of the final piece, created collaboratively by the group and put together by Christopher. The final artwork reflects the young people’s collective experience of lockdown, along with a glimpse into the various ways it has affected them individually.

Who are the Next Gen. Creatives?

Attenborough Arts Centre’s Next Gen. Creatives aims to inspire young people, encourage them to help shape the arts centre’s programme and empower them to become the next generation of artists, curators, performers and creative professionals. The name, chosen by the participants, is inspired by the slogan: “we are the next generation dreamers”. The group has been meeting monthly for just over 2 years.
By joining the Next Gen. Creatives young people in Leicester have the opportunity to network with professional artists and practitioners, gain valuable life skills and learn about the various pathways they could take within the arts. So far they have delivered their own workshops, curated their own exhibitions met internationally renowned artists and taken part in artist led workshops.
If you are interested in hearing more or wish to join contact nextgen@Leicester.ac.uk

About the Artist: Christopher Samuels

Christopher Samuels a Leicester-based multidisciplinary artist whose practice is rooted in identity and disability politics, often echoing the many facets of his own lived experience.
Seeking to interrogate his personal understanding of identity as a disabled person impacted by inequality, marginalisation and shielding since March 2020 as a result of Covid-19, Christopher responds with urgency, humour, and poetic subversiveness with his work. His practice includes commissions and research projects, including the Art B&B commission to create ‘Welcome Inn’ 2019: a Sleep-in Installation in Blackpool for people to experience inaccessibility, a commission with the Wellcome Collection for exhibition in 2022, ‘Cripple’ (2019) and ‘Unseen’ (2019). Samuel’s work is gaining national and international recognition for its inventiveness and timely critique of the disabled experience.