Redstart Arts, a group that includes people with learning disabilities, has developed a new set of sculptures that will fill the Deptford skyline throughout the summer.
Using Henri Matisse’s ‘The Cut-Outs’ at the Tate Modern as their inspiration, the team of young adults with learning disabilities have created a set of 3D self-portraits. The sculptures will tower from the rooftop of one of the oldest warehouses in Deptford’s Creekside, the APT Gallery.
Redstart Arts was founded by artist Cash Aspeek in 2011, and works closely with fellow artist Chris Marshall on many projects. It is funded by the Arts Council and works from the APT Gallery. The group is made up of young adults with learning disabilities from across southeast London and their work has been described as daring and audacious and as art that ‘would not look out of place in a major gallery’.
The group’s first major work was the highly commended skySCAPE project, which placed large wooden cut-outs on top of the APT Gallery. This piece was exhibited throughout the summer of 2012 as part of the Cultural Olympiad. It was a project that gave Redstart a community connection to the celebrations around the Olympics.
Their second project was a collaboration with the artists in residence at the APT studios, which featured a range of media from filming to painting to burning toast.
Aside from these major works, Redstart has also created work for exhibitions outside of their local community. One of these was for Stay Up Late, a Brighton-based charity working with adults with learning disabilities through music. Redstart created sculptures of rhino’s heads, using different materials on each. The heads are used to hold headphones on as part of a jukebox installation, which is currently touring the country.