Youngsters show off their first impressions of Workhouse life

Beccy Ashmead 17 from Ripon  one of the Evolve students  who are making  sculptures  of figures from sellotape to display around the Ripon Workhouse museum as part of the Shadows in the City event next week , they are pictured in one of the cells at the Workhouse museum.
Beccy Ashmead 17 from Ripon one of the Evolve students who are making sculptures of figures from sellotape to display around the Ripon Workhouse museum as part of the Shadows in the City event next week , they are pictured in one of the cells at the Workhouse museum.
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STUDENTS in Ripon have taken inspiration from the Workhouse Museum’s rich social history to create some unique – and spooky – art installations just in time for Halloween.

Made with sticky tape to symbolise the “fragile and deteriorating” nature of the people who would have laboured away in the Workhouse, the sculptures will be displayed in and around the old vagrants’ block to give visitors an illustration of life in Ripon for the Victorian poor.

They were created by 16- to 18-year-olds on the Evolve programme, which is for youngsters not in mainstream education, and reflect their first impressions of the Workhouse.

Evolve student Beccy Ashmead said: “The sculptures represent life in the Workhouse and are an expression of poor people seeking relief from their destitute state.

“Not only is it a fun way to create the sculptures, the sticky tape itself represents the people of the Workhouse. Sticky tape can be fragile and it deteriorates. It’s transparent – which is how many people saw the poverty-stricken people with no other choice but to enter the Workhouse.

“We hope this installation will further people’s understanding.”

The sculptures are part of the Museum’s “Shadows of the City” event, which also include magic lantern shows next Thursday, a shadow puppet workshop, an archaeology session and a spooky tour of the museum by candlelight.