Vi and JR exhibition : Matisse

Sometimes it’s good to show off…I was thinking this as I watched residents host a private view of their own art, created over the last year at their London nursing home.

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Many of these people are dealing with the after effects of a stroke, or the onset of conditions such as dementia. When showing people their work, their confidence and posture improved, they smiled and chatted more. They looked…at home.

During the project I learned a great deal from the participants and their stories and found I was encouraged to find new ways of making art accessible and engaging. Together we produced sketches, sculptural objects, textiles and sound pieces.

Vi & JR exhibition
Valuing this work is so important – I was grateful for the support (people power and funding) to get together a quality exhibition and an event where family and friends could celebrate the achievements of their loved ones – and remember that everybody has potential – at any stage of life.

Summer songs

Moving among the different surfaces of Charmouth’s landscape; held and propelled. For once not responding, nor interpreting – silencing the eyes and becoming a part of the landscape. Helen Poynor’s Summer Songs in Dorset: Walk of Life

Thought-provoking and energising.

collaborationPerfect

Working creatively with other people means energy pooled and shared; ideas breeding ideas. Giving a shared talk on Art and Collaboration with Shane Waltnener at Fermynwoods Contemporary Art was a fine opportunity to reflect on and discuss my creative output over the last few years, to learn from the attending artists’ experiences and to consider the many elements that can influence the direction and success (or not) of collaborative work – authentic participation, risk, integrity.

I’ve realised that the stimulation I get from this way of working stems from the newness, the lack of repetition – starting afresh every time and trying to clear away any preconceptions before rooting out the unique qualities or histories that each person can bring into the mix. This way of working is time-consuming, however it energizes me and keeps me interested, productive and focused.

The Nana Nest

Working on a project for the grandparents and parents of children with complex disabilities recently has reminded me of the potential buzz to be found in engaging with the surreal. The families quickly burst into action, transforming piles of textiles and sticks into random hand made objects which transcend any sort of representative storytelling but are inherently meaningful. Thinking about how to share these children’s stories has helped me to understand what’s important when communicating through objects.
With Shane Waltener for Entelechy Arts

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Holding the sketchpad vertically so that Lady Q could express herself through colour to music, even though she is necessarily tilted backwards in her wheelchair. Part conversation, part painting, part Libertango.

Specialist nursing home, London. Collaboration with Christina Agyropoulou ( Body Paths London ) for Age Exchange RADIQL

freshers' week

Try to learn something new every day, even at 99. (Yes, 99. ) Not that this man is a complete novice…he was a good double-bass player in his youth. He knows how to hold an instrument; his body understands the wood, the vibrations of the sound, against his chest. His fingers remember the metal of the strings, the relationship with a musical instrument.

With Charlene Low ( Sardines Dance Collective ) for Entelechy Arts

energy in a stroke

The changing of the body and brain through illness and ageing doesn’t have to signal a road to inactivity. There is a shimmering vitality in this man’s use of line and colour. As Einstein said “Energy cannot be created, nor destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”

Residential nursing home, Essex

so many hands

Where does creativity begin? Is it in the chance meeting of so many hands? How I place a bowl, how you hold a cup. How you collect together my objects and allow me to see them through fresh eyes.

Meet Me at The Albany, January 2014

zealous x

A rather unexpected juxtaposition…thanks to Zealous X for bringing Anne Morrison and me together for this public conversation…Women in the Creative Industries

sensory still life

The vanilla essence, olive oil and black pepper flakes were ready to be touched, smelled, tasted; the cabbage would ultimately be torn apart by one of the participants. There were some vibrant paintings, but the interactions and memories provoked were even more interesting.

Exercise repeated at a few different participatory settings in London, Autumn 2013