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Floating to Another Place

A piece of art created by Novus learners at HMYOI Werrington has won a Koestler Award and displayed in the Supreme Court.

Titled ‘Floating to Another Place’, it shows a single red balloon, made of stamps. The poignant image earned the Mixed Media Under-18 award, and was proudly showcased at an exhibition at the South Bank Centre in London. It was one of six winning entries from HMYOI Werrington, to the delight of learners and Novus colleagues alike.

Floating to Another Place went on display in a glass cabinet on the lower floor of the Supreme Court, in an exhibition called ‘Paperwork’. It was one of 25 pieces of art to take pride of place in the cabinet at the famous venue – selected from 6,500 entries.

The Koestler Trust assessment of the piece said: “This is quite a romantic image. It makes me think of sending letters with a balloon – and just hoping that they actually arrive. It is very creative to use old stamps in a collage – well done!”

The artwork was the culmination of the learner’s work with Novus in the Creative Design class. Selecting only the red stamps from the pile that other learners were using, he wanted to keep it simple with one floating balloon. He studied City & Guilds Level 1 Creative Techniques, successfully completing four units which included Still Life, Exploring Design Ideas and Product Design.

Another piece of artwork by the Novus learners was also selected to be exhibited in the capital. ‘From Banksy to the Queen’ is a collage adaption of Banksy’s ‘Dropping Bombs with Love Hearts, Not Bombs’ street art. This new twist on the enigmatic artist’s original makes use of more than 1,000 stamps. The aim was to raise questions about war, love and religion in a subtle manner.

Kate Barry, Art Tutor for Novus at HMYOI Werrington, said: “I feel very proud that this young person has been recognised for their creative ability by the Koestler Trust. I think it was a big part of his rehabilitation journey to be able to explore his creative ideas on a daily basis.

“I am also pleased that he gained a City & Guilds Level 1 qualification in the Creative Design class, which he is now able to add to his CV for future career opportunities.”

The Koestler Awards is an annual scheme for people in prison, and secure patients, to share their talent. HMYOI Werrington’s received the following six awards:

Painting Connect the Dots – Under 18s Special Award

Watercolour and Gouache Take a Shot – Under 18s Special Award

Drawing Comfort in my Dreams – Under 18s Special Award

Mixed Media From Banksy to the Queen – GXDFAS Golden Jubilee Gold Award

Mixed Media Born and Raised – Gold Award

Mixed Media Floating to Another Place – Under 18s Special Award

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