“My experience of sex ed in school was awkward with teachers laughing more than pupils & we only watched videos, not many talks”
Workshop Participant
“I enjoyed being able to sit and work having people around me and do the blind drawing exercise because it helped me realise how structured I am and how to free my drawing”
Workshop Participant
“If I could plan my own sex ed, I would include many different kinds of relationships from all backgrounds and make sure people aren't embarrassed”
Workshop Participant
“I enjoyed being able to discuss topics like sexism because I find these topics interesting, personal and also topical”
Workshop Participant
“Our form tutor stopped teaching us gay rights so we wouldn't ‘catch the gay’.”
Workshop Participant
“It was nice to have my work in an art exhibition with better known artists - it made my work feel special”
Workshop Participant
Home / Projects / txt at Claremont Studios

txt at Claremont Studios

aGender is delighted to have been invited to run our pilot project, consisting of a series of workshops to complement the exhibition, txt: the art of words at Claremont Studios: a collection of contemporary visual artworks that incorporate the written word and which explores the tension and complexity created when a word is used not only for its literal meaning but also as a visual cue to lead through to layers of subtext and implied meaning. Funded by Gensing & Central St Leonards Forum and supported by local artist Lorna Hamilton-Brown MBE, Xaverine Bates held a series of workshops in the gallery space working with a group of young people. 

The workshops explored the following topics:

Group discussionThe exhibition, txt: what is the subtext when an artist includes text in their work? What relevance does the medium have to the reading of the words & what additional layers of meaning does it add to the work?

Discussions about texting, social media & online pornography: Symbols used to in texting & their meaning, what happens when texts get misunderstood & misinterpreted, sexting,  cyberbullying, different social media sites for different purposes, availability of online porn, consent, misogyny, sexual violence etc.

Gender stereotyping: objectification of women, gender roles, sexism, feminism 

The artworks in the txt exhibition were used as a starting point for the young people to create their own work, incorporating text and expressing issues raised in the workshops. Xaverine and Lorna worked collaboratively with the group to explore their own artistic responses to the issues covered in the workshops.

As part of the workshops, we also had a multi-platform element, incorporating social media in the guise of a Facebook group to encourage engagement and dialogue with the subject in the days between workshops. 

Each session was carefully planned according to good practice in teaching PSHE. As part of the evaluation process, we asked the participants to explain what they did or didn’t enjoy about each session.