Refugee workshop at Bolton Museum…

I had a really lovely time with the group from Central URC, who traveled from Darwen. It wasn`t without challenges, but this made it all the more worth while when laughter and chatter could be heard later once everyone became absorbed in creativity. I was truly astounded at the creativity and the willingness to experiment with new materials. Thank you so much to everyone who came you truly inspired me!

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I asked them about their thoughts and feelings regarding Bolton Museum…

“I enjoyed seeing” said one lady, “it was a new experience for me”

“It was an amazing place….saw new things that i wouldn`t have seen”

“I loved the Egyptian collection”

“Very interesting, my favourite was the loom and bike” I asked this lady how she felt about seeing these things, ” I`ve seen it in real life,” she said.

“New experience for me, I would like more experiences like that”

“I had a wonderful time”

“I felt happy i would like to be there again.”

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I asked them what the felt about the workshop….

“Art was lovely I felt very happy”

“My first time printing…it was amazing…I learnt it”

“Enjoyable i got some new skills, which i hadn`t got before.”

“I don`t like drawing, but liked this drawing…afterwards i felt relaxed. I will do it again now.”

“It was fun you don`t have to be perfect.” I particularly like this comment from a lady; I always aim to combat the perfectionism in participants I work with, so this was music to my ears!

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The group leaders observed how much the group were interested in finding out how people in Bolton used to live, “For them to see how Bolton people lived in the past was really interesting…they really want to know what it was like.”

“It took their minds of everything… being fully focused.”

Researching Bolton Museums` collections….

I was really excited to spend an afternoon looking into the collections at the fabulous and newly opened Museum in Bolton. My daughter loves the museum….

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The  purpose of my visit this time, was to plan an engaging workshop, using the beautiful collections, with a group of adult refugees.

I wanted to see what I most connected with and begin to think about how i can work with these collections to improve  well being. The building is beautiful, so I immediately felt inspired by the architectural details…

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The painting room felt really peaceful; most of the space in the museum is full of exciting artefacts, so the painting room felt like a tranquil spot.

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I was particularly drawn to this photograph and the painting below…..

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something so ordinary, but so beautiful…

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and this painting makes me feel quite dreamy, as if I am sitting on that chair. I was drawn to the printmaking, which inspired a seed of an idea to do a printing workshop for the refugees….I also was really inspired by the Botany collection, so thought the two might link together nicely. There is something very visceral about relief printing, so I thought this might be a way to engage a group, where there will be a lot of barriers to engagement.

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There is also a miniature museum, with wooden people and museum stands to arrange, which I`d played with on visits with my daughter. Even the ceiling imitates the sky and there is a tree, as if in a park! It can`t fail to inspire and hopefully I can use it for other workshops linked with the collections.

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There are such a lot of exciting things to see these were just some of my highlights.

Whitworth Gallery family picnic….

I spent a lovely Saturday facilitating a family picnic day at the Whitworth Art Gallery….yes an indoor picnic complete with blankets and baskets! Families bring their own picnic and create Art as a family- such a lovely idea! The workshop I delivered was inspired by the Beyond Borders exhibition.

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My daughter Ruby loved the picnic idea, preferring to do an umbrella dance rather than than the workshop!

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Royal Exchange wood block printing workshop

I had a lovely morning at the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester. A group of talented adults came along for a wood block printing workshop…

We started off by making a rubber stamp using japanese wood carving tools…

We then moved on to work with plywood…the results and the atmosphere of the workshop was so experimental and creative. I`m afraid these photos I quickly took don`t do the work justice. I hope to be back at the Royal Exchange again soon it was such an inspiring place to be creative in.