Steampunk is a fusion of Victorian Elegance and Modern Technology. It’s about taking our modern gadgets lifestyles and reinventing them as though they were from a bygone age.
The project is based around the science fiction genre of STEAM PUNK, the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace (1851), and the Victorian past of the North East.
This project was developed by the Find Your Talent Team with input from the Victorian Steam Punk Society, Tyne and Wear Museums, local artists and other creatives, with the aim of taking the design and style of Steam Punk and making them suitable for young people in both boroughs to engage in fun, creative, stimulating and educational strands of creative activity.
By using a science fiction ethic and style, the Pathfinder aims to engage young people, teachers and artists in design (via workshops) and exhibiting and performing. Using their imagination and Steampunk ethos the young people took objects and art forms from modern day and reinvented them in a Victorian Style or vice versa. The project pulled together lots of strands of the curriculum through creativity, such as History, Science, Maths, Design, English Literature, Media Studies, Visual and Performance Arts.
The project harks back to yesteryear and flips a bygone era on its head with a fantasy and sci-fi twist. Young people were encouraged to use their imagination, knowledge and creativity to create, re-create and re-imagine objects, products, art work, fashion, film, writing, drawings, inventions using their version of the Steam Punk aesthetic. They produced new pieces of work which went on display at the Great Hall of the Discovery Museum 13 to 15 July 2010.
The project involved the following elements:
- Create (The making element of the project)
- Artists (giving young people the opportunity to work with practicing artists)
- Exhibit/Perform (An opportunity to exhibit the work created during the project in the Great Hall of the Discovery Museum)
- View/Interact/share (To visit the final exhibition)
300 young people were involved in 164 hours of delivery, and The House of Objects Resource centre hosted public workshops. For many of the students, seeing their work exhibited as part of a professionally curated exhibition in one of the North East’s premier museums was a once in a life time experience and to several it was a life changing moment.
The groups produced the following items and objects:
- A Glass Peacock – based on the tiffany glass style
- Fashion line – based on the Victorian dress ethic
- Steampunk Bike – based on the inventing ethos of Victorian society
- Animal Survival packs – for animals who today are on the extinct register
- Silhouettes – based in the explosion of photography and portraits during the Victorian Industrial era.
- Creative Writing – based on the idea of time travel between 1857 and modern day
The exhibition was in The Great Hall of the Discovery Museum, in Newcastle upon Tyne. It was viewed by 600 people during the 3 day run.
The students involved were invited to a preview and were proud and delighted to see their work on show in a public building.
Knowledge & understanding: Students increased their knowledge of the Industrial Age & other Victorian/ Edwardian technologies.
Skills: Students gained practical experience of working in a team with creative specialists.
Attitudes & values: Students improved their ability to work cooperatively in a team. They will take pride from seeing their work displayed in a public place, and will understand the value of the creative process.
Enjoyment, inspiration & creativity: Students will be inspired by the four elements of the Steampunk project and by using their imagination they will produce art work and science projects aiming to increase their ability to express ideas creatively and to carry this experience across all their curriculum subjects. They will gain an understanding that creativity is not just about art, but impacts on all life skills.
Activity, behaviour and progression: to inspire students to pursue further study/ apprenticeship/ career in the creative industries
An explorative, educational and creative programme of work which has borrowed elements from the Steam Punk genre: fashion, science fiction, and local history.