Tuesday, 30 March 2010

Fireside, the past weeks

Over the past few weeks at the project, everyone has been getting on with their individual pieces. A camaraderie has begun to develop between everyone, a network of support becoming more obvious. As well as this a feeling of trust towards Emma and I has come about.

Calvin has begun to apply for a foundation in art and design at the local college, a step towards improving his situation, and a really positive point for the project!

Last week a new member joined the group, Lenard, suffering quite severely with anxiety, meaning that activities that most people would feel mundane, Lenard would find extremely difficult to complete. Lenard arrived, mentioning he couldn't draw and declaring he never would. After a conversation with Emma and much encouragement Lenard began to draw how he felt during an anxious episode and left giving much thanks and showing surprise at what he had managed to achieve.

Monday, 15 February 2010

ARTful Dodgers at Fireside, Birmingham, Week 3

This week was allot more relaxed than last. The individuals in the session were still partaking in their individual activities, however there was a feeling of camaraderie within the group that had not been there the week before. After the suggestion of the title "Past, Present and Future' was unsuccessful in creating excitement for the project another more open title must be conceived. A project that brings the individuals together as a group perhaps starting with the initial session being focused on a group piece. Something for the team to discuss and develop.

The 'regulars' are beginning to show more ownership and determination within the work they produce. Sam has a real interest in cartoons and characters, she has an amazing observational skill, one that needs to be encouraged. Calvin is still working hard on his beach scene, we are really looking forward to seeing the finished piece. All are excited about the possibility of exhibiting however some need some more encouragement and or guidance. Yet another reason for a group project to be developed...

Tuesday, 9 February 2010

ARTful Dodgers at Fireside, Birmingham, Week 2

Calvin Hard at work.

The beginnings of 'Past, Present, Future' a possible group exhibition or project.

This week the atmosphere and dynamic within the group had completely changed. Everyone segregating themselves into a their own safe individual environments. Through out the session we heard reports of the night before, some members of the project had been involved in disagreements and arguments, resulting in some not showing for the Friday session and others, feeling alone and isolated. It was certain that the dynamic had changed, we just hoped that it would be for one week only.

In the morning the team, Emma and I, visited HMP Grendon, a unique facility, in the middle of the oxfordshire countryside. Grendon is a one of a kind, a therapeutic prison that works through the use of therapeutic communities. Inmates have to request to serve the end of their sentence at this facility, it is a way of integration back into society, many trials have proved its worth as a centre of rehabilitation. The team were influenced by the meeting greatly and began planning a project that would hopefully lend itself, as it does in Grendon to a development of self confidence and awareness of emotion that is deemed necessary for such individuals regain a place within 'normal' society.

Friday, 29 January 2010

Artful Dodgers at Fireside, Birmingham

Today was the first week of this project. Once a week the ARTful Dodgers team, (Emma Aries and I) will be entering the Fireside and SIFA in Birmingham. A charity that works to support individuals that find them selves homeless or in similar kinds of trouble. Offering drug and alcohol rehabilitation along with a place just to come, keep warm, and socialise with people in the same circumstances of those individuals.

The ARTful Dodgers, friday project will be working along side the SIFA and Fireside projects. Working towards producing art and craft works to sell (raising money for the organisation and the people involved), and encouraging a feeling of independence and discipline within the individuals partaking through the medium of art and craft.

The ARTful Dodgers team entered to a scene of chaos, ending with one man having his teeth knocked out by another. The atmosphere was soon calmed down, as people dispersed, whether it was to partake in the arts and craft project, or to another occupation they had for the rest of the day.

Individuals were invited to join a group piece in which they could together create a large work, which ultimately developed the theme of nature. This enabled people to get involved and leave when ever they felt they wanted to. And turned out to be a very proactive table with much going on. Others decided to sit alone and concentrate on an artistic interest of their own, drawing and begining to paint a beach scene, or perhaps just dooodleing. The craft section today revolved around porcelain painting, something that was activiley participated in at the start with people being drawn towards the larger group drawing closer to the end of the hour and a half session.

There are some characters in the group that the team are working with. A trio that seem to be inseparable, very kind, polite and gentile, a force to perhaps be reckoned with at the same time. A man sitting quietly in the corner, repeatedly drawing images of houses, perhaps a dream or a celebration? Amongst the group there is some incredible talent that is in need of nurture.

The ARTful Dodgers team will be keeping you up to date, with images of the work created, along with a small note to say how it all went, including all trials and tribulations (little tiffs) that have happened within the sessions, every week after the session. So Watch out!!