This is a return for the second year to work with the residents of Bedford Court but this time it will the artists be Jim and Rozi. For the first session we all met in the living room and it was good to see everyone after over a year. We were pleased to be supported by Ash.
First we introduced Rozi and we showed her what we had done last year, going through photos so that they could share their memories of the work with her.
As a warm up we started with the memory game which they so enjoyed during the previous workshops. Everyone enjoyed it and joined in, including Yasmin and Ash. We worked around a table in the centre of the room which helped to avoid the tendency to relax back into the armchairs.
John was delighted when he guessed the missing object on one of the last attempts. After several rounds with lots of laughter and good humour we moved on to the first art activity. We covered the table with lots of objects and they did rubbings using chalk pastels, wax crayons, and oil pastels onto coloured paper with some great results. We stopped for a break and then moved the activity outside as it was a lovely sunny day. They looked for textures to rub on the surfaces around the garden and collected leaves.
The whole group really enjoyed the game and were all laughing a lot. John was very happy. He worked hard rubbing the pastels and crayon on the paper. Ash was very encouraging and supportive. They all responded well to Rozi.
Mary – “ I like Rozi”
Outside they enjoyed working in the Sun. Mary made a great rubbing with a dock leaf. John was very busy finding textures on the fence and walls with Ash’s help. Everyone worked busily exploring the surface of the paper for textures underneath.They enjoyed the day and some of them were quite tired from all the activity. When we reminded them of the last workshop last year John remembered the drumming with excitement. Everyone joined in all the activities and Margaret although not very mobile still made the effort to come outside and take part.
Session – 2
We began by playing the doodle game: everyone has a piece of paper, closed their eyes and quickly drew a scribble. The paper is passed to another person who then makes an image from the scribble. We played this several times.
After tea break Rozi demonstrated how to make block prints using the images in our doodles. Everyone got stuck in and made a couple each. There was then just enough time to test how to make a print from the blocks.
Elaine made everyone laugh by adding sound effects to both her monkey doodle and her potato-man block. Both activities requiring quiet concentration. After the block print demo, Cathy went off to rummage in her bag and came back with a funky foam heart shape to draw around. She took what Rozi demonstrated and creatively adapted it. She wasn’t satisfied with the pencil line she made so then tried the felt pen. “Much better” she said. On peeling back the block to reveal her first print, Cathy exclaimed “lovely”, before grinning hugely. Then she added “That’s really good!”
Anne mentioned a few times that she felt sad. Each time the group tried to help her focus on what was happening within the room in the present. Despite her tears, they did raise her spirits and she stayed and cheered up.
Session – 3
We started the session with the memory game which everyone enjoys. This week all the objects were orange. Margaret was particularly good this week and Elaine was concentrating very hard. There was lots of laughter in the room. Tracey was a very helpful support, making tea and a good extra support with John.
Rozi got out the printing blocks made last week and explained that we were going to use the off cuts of funky foam to create abstract print blocks which could be used to create repeat patterns. Everyone worked hard cutting and sticking their print blocks. After a tea break we got out the printing equipment and demonstrated the process again. Once we got under way there was a burst of creative activity as the coloured rubbings produced in previous sessions were over printed.
The whole group really enjoyed the session. There was good interaction between the members of the group as well as with Ash, Tracey, Rozi and Jim. Everyone concentrated on cutting and sticking their print blocks and John was especially pleased with his print. Margaret was keen to show Rozi one of her prints. They were all very impressed with the results of their prints and said “Wow !” As the first ones were revealed. This was a very positive session with a lot of creative energy. Elaine worked into her print block with a series of intricate symbols which came out really well. Ash was using up the ink with the rollers at the end and Rozi suggested trying Elaine’s block underneath the paper with great results. She also responded to the stripey repetitive print I had done. “ You know what it looks like ? A zebra. Zebra stripes are black and white”
John was very engaged again and had remembered what we had discussed in earlier sessions
“ I want to make a sculpture. I’d make it with nails and a hammer”
Tracey the support worker is an experienced social worker and was very positive about the impact our work is having.
“Everyone fully enjoyed themselves and I mean EVERYONE.”
There was a good group atmosphere with positive interaction between members of the group especially during the memory game.