Lots of us have been adapting to new ways of working throughout the COVID-19 (coronavirus) lockdown, and our team at Torre Abbey are no different. The Abbey may currently be closed to visitors, but the team have been exploring new ways of inspiring young people to get them involved in art through online exhibitions and competitions.

Back in February Torre Abbey teamed up with Artizan Gallery, to host a ‘Young Artizans Exhibition’ for Key Stage 1 & 2 students from Torbay and Devon. Students were asked to submit their artwork, which was due to be on display in Torre Abbey’s Spanish Barn over the weekend of 28 and 29 March. Sadly, the exhibition had to be cancelled, and rather than disappoint the young people who had submitted works the exhibition was moved online. Many of the young people who submitted works had taken inspiration from our naturally inspiring English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark, in particular its sea life.

The online ‘Young Artizan Exhibition’ is open for entries until Thursday 30 April. To find out more and view the work submitted so far, visit Torre Abbey’s Facebook page

At the start of the year, the Royal Photographic Society South West Branch held their biennial exhibition at the Abbey. The exhibition featured over 50 stunning images from local talented photographers. In conjunction with this exhibition, a ‘Young People’s Photography’ competition was launched. Owing to COVID-19 the remit of the competition had to change to reflect UK government guidance, with young people now being asked to use their camera to ‘provide a window into their world’ from their home. Young photographers are now encouraged to take fun, emotional or inspiring pictures that show how they and their families (and even their pets) are adapting to and make the most of lockdown life. 

The photography competition is open for entries until Monday 31 August to anyone under the age of 18. All entries will be judged by the Royal Photographic Society South West branch and a member of the Torre Abbey team. The best pictures will be displayed in a virtual gallery during lockdown, and at Torre Abbey later in the year. The overall winner will receive a Family Member to Torre Abbey and a selection of prizes from the Royal Photographic Society.

Full entry terms and conditions can be found on Torre Abbey’s website

Councillor Mike Morey, Cabinet Member for Environment, Infrastructure and Culture for Torbay Council, said “We are living through extraordinary times, and although our freedom of movement is currently limited, our freedom of expression isn’t. It is wonderful that the team at Torre Abbey are continuing to engage with young people through art, by coming up with new ways to get them involved from their homes. The photography competition from homes is an innovative idea that any young person can get involved in. Expensive photography equipment is not required, photos can be taken on any device and can be in colour, black and white or feature special effects”.


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