In partnership with Work and Play Scrapstore, I have been planning a project to run art workshops for young people from under privileged backgrounds. The work that WaPS do is important and inspiring to me because it provides accessible art resources, and teaches people to think creatively about how they source or reuse materials.
I believe that art is for everyone. There are numerous studies on the mental health benefits, and for some it is the only way people can express themselves. In schools there are increasing amounts of pressure on grades, and quite often, that is based on how well students can copy what they see. I feel it is important that even if students don’t want to pursue a career in the arts, they learn at that they can still create and enjoy doing so, rather than being discouraged.
To trial our workshops, I delivered 4 sessions at Christ’s school, Richmond. These were:
-Textiles in painting
-Invention in art
-Drawing in reverse
We looked at artists such as Robert Rauschenberg, Amy Rose Barnes, Louise Nevelson, and Gerhart Richter. One thing that was very important to me was to use inspiration rather than rules, so I talked about the artists and their use of found objects, colour, abstraction, composition, and reuse of materials. The whole day allowed the students to use their creativity to work in a different way, and they produced amazing work and really enjoyed it! Common feedback was how impressed they were with what they produced and how much they enjoyed creating art without pressure or limitations.
My next step is to run some more workshops in the local area (Tooting). I am really looking forward to it and hope to keep making progress on the project.