A chilling sculpture display made up of 50 pairs of glass and ice children's shoes is among the exhibitions that have been held at a gallery curated solely by young people and vulnerable adults.
The Cold Truth installation melted throughout each day, before being re-cast in ice every evening. The shoes symbolised the damage sexual abuse does to children's brains, bodies and relationships. It is among exhibitions giving form to painful or taboo subjects at Radiant Gallery in Plymouth.
National Lottery funding has helped the gallery run activities with vulnerable children, including training them as artists and curators.
The city centre gallery also has a studio and a restaurant. Previous exhibitions have included young carers exploring the monsters that haunt them, and isolated teenagers reflecting on bittersweet loneliness and hope.
Radiant is the only professional gallery in the UK that is curated entirely by children and young people. This year it has concentrated on children and young people who are at high risk of, or have survived, child sexual exploitation (CSE).
The project is about to work with younger children at risk of exploitation to follow up the Cold Truth exhibition, which closed in April.
Effervescent’s Creative Director Eloise Malone said: “Through the work we have significantly raised the self-esteem, well-being and happiness of children who have experienced terror, isolation and poverty; and helped our local authority to begin thinking about how services for children can be designed not only to protect children, but to help them recover from, and blossom after, traumatic events."
Image Credit: Lawrence Hyne