Over the last year, the Bluecoat has worked with a group of young people to interrogate the building’s past, to be presented in a new exhibition, The Bluecoat’s Colonial Legacies.
This exhibition will bring to light archival material and research relating to the Bluecoat’s beginnings as a charity school, along with new findings about its co-founder, the merchant Bryan Blundell and his family.
We have worked with a group of 14-18 year olds, who have produced a selection of creative work that will be on display alongside a newly commissioned artwork by artist Grace Thomas.
A small blue coat, based on the uniform worn by the eighteenth-century Blue Coat School pupils, will be suspended in the space, its threads unravelling. This reflects the unwinding of contested histories, and the ties between two of the building’s central narratives, colonial legacies and the concept of looked after children.