The engagement, enthusiasm and energy of the participants are reflected in the feedback below. In some cases, LightTAG has been life changing. For example, one of the young people, who has a great sense of humour commented, “this is the only thing I’ve ever done that I haven’t got arrested for…”. He has now stopped drinking, drug taking and cage fighting – partly due to a rise in self-esteem from having new experiences and widening his horizons during LightTAG.
At the Southbank LightTAG opening, it was the first time that he’d been to London. EastPoint Centre youth worker Peter Mathews observed that he seemed fearful during the trip because of leaving his territory due to having experienced a lot of violence in his life. He was anticipating being threatened in London, instead it went well and seemed to give him a boost.
We have also heard remarkable stories of the other participants involved. One has gone on to gain a new job in media and another is planning to join a full time course training as a photographer.
We consider this feedback to be a real testament to the power of this project. From the start, we set out to engage the young people – many of whom had never visited a university or worked on something they could be proud of. We hoped to change some of their lives but we never believed that it would, in fact, impact on them in such a big way.
The following feedback speaks for itself.
“I’d never been to a university before this and thought it was just full of rich kids walking around, but after doing LightTAG there I realised that they’re all normal and now I’m thinking about going to university and doing a Video Games course which I would never have thought about doing before.” Tyron, Southampton, EastPoint Centre (Participant).
“it’s surreal to have my work on show at the BFI in London – it’s a big achievement for me. LightTAG has given me a big confidence boost as I now know that my artwork is good enough to be shown in a gallery.” Petra Marie, Canterbury, Connexions (Participant)
“LightTAG has helped me believe in myself more because now I know that I can do something good enough to be shown at the gallery, which the whole world can see.” Nancy, Staines, NACRO (Participant)
I thought it was really good. I liked mixing the colours and couldn’t believe that I could make such cool pictures. I didn’t think it would be as much fun as it was. I thought university would be scary but going to UCA made me realise that it isn’t that bad. Kaya, NACRO (Participant)
“It’s given me a better idea about what it’s like to go to university and also I learned that science and art can combine.” David, Canterbury, Connexions (Participant)
“I used to draw all the time but I gave up because I didn’t think that any of it would ever get shown in an art gallery but since signing up to the art course at NACRO I’ve been able to do LightTAG and now I’m in a gallery, which is brilliant.” Ant, Staines, NACRO (Participant)
“It’s great fun messing around with lights – I made a Star Wars LightTAG which took about 20 goes to get it right, so I learned not to give up for the first time in work.” Tyron, Southampton, EastPoint Centre (Participant).
I made the LightTAG for Southampton which I’m really proud of as no-one else could think of a way to draw the city. Aiden, Southampton, EastPoint Centre (Participant).
“I really enjoyed the art side of things and would love to do something like this in the future. It’s taught me more about how to use the computer to make animations. It’s pretty nerve-racking. Luke, Guildford’s King’s College Combi-Centre (Participant).
“I am going to do a full time class in photography now” Daniel, Staines, NACRO (Participant)