Effervescent presents ‘I am not a robot’

Effervescent presents ‘I am not a robot’

Effervescent presents ‘I am not a robot’, an immersive art installation that aims to raise awareness of the need for more foster care families in Plymouth. The show opens on Thursday 21st September 2017 @ 7pm, at Radiant Gallery and will run until 25th November 2017, open daily Monday to Saturday 9am-7pm.

The show has been devised, developed and designed by children and young people in foster care in the city; Effervescent has worked closely with Plymouth City Council (PCC) to realise an innovative way of creating better understanding of the foster care process.

The purpose of the show is to raise referrals to Plymouth City Council of potential foster carers and to demonstrate how local businesses can get involved in raising a child or young person; it really does take a community cohesion and contribution to support the foster care process. Nationally, 9,070 new foster families are needed in the next 12 months to care for a range of children, the greatest need being for older children, sibling groups, disabled children and unaccompanied asylum-seeking children.

‘ I am not a robot’ is an interactive show suitable for adults and children, comprising customised fluffy robots created using real personality traits and characteristics of actual foster care children in Plymouth.

Audience members can read stories to the robots and donate hugs through our interactive window technology, and at sundown they will sing before they go off to sleep. ‘The bureau of fluff’ will be taking applications to foster a robot for a day or a weekend and send back photos and upload information to our ‘bot blog’ as part of our social media campaign.

There are currently 408 children and young people in care in Plymouth and recruiting new carers is an ongoing priority. The Council wants to provide more children with in-house provision, as research shows that in-house placements are more likely to gain permanency and they are closer to the team around the child.

Councillor Terri Beer, Cabinet Member for Children and Young People for Plymouth City Council, said: “We’re very excited to be collaborating with Effervescent on this project. The children and young people have really responded to being in this environment and having the opportunity to be creative. They are developing a lot of skills that they will need as they move into adulthood such as team work and individual confidence. I hope that visitors enjoy the work and that it encourages them to think about how they can contribute to the lives of children in care.”

Eloise Malone, Creative Director for Effervescent said: “There is much that is hugely positive about this kind of initiative, and the difference that the team at Effervescent has made to the lives of individual children is truly inspiring. These successes need to be celebrated and built on.”

Effervescent works with children and young people to come up with creative solutions to problems that they - and young people like them face.

It was a real privilege to work with a group of talented young women who wanted to ensure that they and other children in Plymouth have access to foster care placements which are nourishing, exciting, and nurturing.

We’ve been through an intensive period of training with the group, experimenting with performance, music, writing and visual art along the way. The piece of work our Young Curators have created at Radiant Gallery is fresh, magical and resonant. Thank you to wonderful local artists Mike Cobb, Hana Backland and Phil Innes who have worked incredibly hard to turn an audacious artistic concept by the Young Curators into a reality in time for the launch of the Plymouth Art Weekender.” Eloise Malone, Creative Director

Effervescent is an award-winning artist-led organisation using art and creativity to have a positive impact on the well-being of our participants and audiences; making the world a kinder, happier place through transdisciplinary art, innovation, creative engagement and research (www.eff.org.uk).

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