The Journey

For nearly two years a group of 12 learning disabled people from L8 and Fazakerley Resource Centres worked with artist Leo Fitzmaurice to investigate what contemporary art meant to them. The WILD project was part of the Bluecoat Connect programme with support from Liverpool Biennial and funding from Arts Council England. The project aimed to increase access to contemporary art and recognised that learning disabled people faced particular barriers around accessing public venues and cultural experiences. After building confidence in visiting exhibitions and creating their own work, the group created a film piece in collaboration with Leo. The Journey, captured an important aspect of any visit to a gallery: the act of travelling by bus and on foot to reach a destination. Filming took place over several months with the support of staff from Liverpool City Council. The group were involved in the process of editing and selecting the music to accompany the film. In November 2004, The Journey was premiered at Bluecoat, with a red-carpet celebration. The project sowed the seeds of the model of inclusive arts that would develop into the Blue Room project, launched in 2008.