Manifesto: An artist-led learning project

Year 9 students explored politics and democracy through the media of textile arts by bringing their own personal manifestos to life through screen printing.

Project in pictures...

View images from the Manifesto projectSee what the students got up to in the Manifesto art project.

Mixing politics and the textile arts

London-based textile artist Tajendar Sagoo led a group of students from Kingsdale Foundation School in this special project called Manifesto, supported by both the University of the Arts, London and Parliament's Education Service.

Manifesto was produced by curator Vivienne Reiss in collaboration with Gail Howell, the acting Head of Art at Kingsdale.

Before entering the textile studio, students wrote personal manifestos and toured the art collection at the Houses of Parliament. They visualised their manifestos through imagery, symbols and text, and created screen-printed images that were transferred onto bags, t-shirts and badges.

Inspired by Parliament's art collection

The year 9 pupils took particular inspiration from a painting of Tony Benn, the former MP and minister, now retired. The artwork - by Andrew Tift - depicts Benn in his study, surrounded by personal objects and possessions. Students were encouraged to think about their own belongings and to include the most meaningful in their artwork.

Special thanks go to the Curator's Office at the Houses of Parliament.

Raising political literacy

With its creative approach, Manifesto aimed to help young people increase their knowledge and understanding of Parliament and democracy, while also improving their personal skills and confidence.

Portraits of the students' work, created with the photographer Dave Lewis, will be displayed in the House of Commons after an exhibition launch event on 15 June 2009.

Along with the Kingsdale students and their families, both Tony Benn and Andrew Tift will be among the guests attending.

Find out more

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Houses of Parliament
London SW1A 2TT
020 7219 4496

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