The Bluecoat’s Colonial Legacies is the culmination of a year-long project with a group of young people, with the aim of interrogating the gallery building’s past. The exhibition presents archival material and research relating to the beginnings of Bluecoat as a charity school, as well as new findings about the school’s co-founder, Bryan Blundell and his family.
The project involved working with a group of young people (14-18 year olds) which resulted in the production of works that will be on display alongside a recently commission piece by artist Grace Thomas. The display includes a small blue coat will be suspended in the space, based on the uniform worn by the eighteenth-century Blue Coat School pupils. Its threads will be left unravelling, mirroring the unwinding of contested histories between two of the building’s central narratives: colonial legacies and the concept of looked after children.