UK Artists posting from Western Australia

James Allott and Christina Ingram are the UK-based artists currently on placement in Western Australia. Here is their first post:

Saturday 13th October

We’ve arrived!! After our 19 hour flight we have made it to Australia with no problems. As we were landing the pilot mentioned over the tannoy that the weather wasn’t very nice today. It’s only 17°C. We found this very amusing. 17°C sounds positively hot!

We were met at the airport by David Doyle . He took us to our new home for the next 7 weeks. Once we dropped our belongings off we went to his for some awesome food. Later after a drink and a good chat we back to ours for some much needed sleep!

 

Tuesday 16th October

Today was our first workshop day. We started out in Sean’s art class.  Sean’s class has been working on a project Birds, Bugs and Beasts for the past year. All final products are paintings and are put in an exhibition at the end of the year. As the year is coming to the end many of the works are now finished and the class was very quiet with very low attendance. Because of this there wasn’t much for us to do and we weren’t needed in the class. The Dadaa team noticed this pretty sharpish and we were sent to work on a music workshop with Pete.

Pete’s class was great. The morning workshop was designed for profoundly disabled participants. Everyone was given a musical instrument according to his or her ability and experience. Pete played guitar and directed everyone to follow his lead and to play at different volumes whilst playing to a beat. It was great to see how positively everyone responded to the activity. Whether it was playing an instrument or just watching and listening.

The second activity was named ‘being the boss’ where a volunteer went into the middle of the circle and created a beat for the group and Pete to follow. It was great to see the smiles and confidence of the participants. Joining the circle and ‘being the boss’ is something we would find daunting, however there was no self-consciousness or hesitation about it from anyone who volunteered. It was great to be apart of and a wonderful workshop to work in on our first day.

Wednesday 17th October

Printmaking and Textiles

Rachel runs the printmaking group. Rachel was nice and welcoming. She made us feel comfortable in her class and what we were doing. We were apprehensive at first on how to interact and to talk to the participants in the group. However the whole class atmosphere was friendly and relaxed. The various workers were warm and welcoming. The atmosphere felt similar to the Art Room with the radio on, everyone busy, pleasant conversation, getting on. As the session progressed we found ourselves talking, getting along helping where we could and where was needed.

We thought it would be difficult to communicate with participants who weren’t very verbal or spoke with the aid of a computer and were relieved and reassured to find this wasn’t the case. It was great to talk and learn and discover about everyone in spite of his or hers disabilities. Overcoming the barriers we maybe set ourselves; or preconceptions of how the work would be. Had a really fun and informative workshop in great company and atmosphere.

Sunday 21st October

The End of Week One

This week has been pretty chilled and relaxed. We’ve been getting to know everyone and our way around town. We’re excited about what next week will have in store for us.

 

Monday 22nd October

Photo Gallery

We’ve created a photo gallery. As we are taking so many pictures on various phones and camera’s we have decided to put them all together in one place on a separate blog. This is so we can both easily access them as and when we need them. Please take a look:

http://australiaexchange2012photogallery.blogspot.com.au/

 

 

 

 

 

 

About Mary Robson

Mary is the Arts in Health and Education Associate at the Centre for Medical Humanities.
This entry was posted in Arts in Health, WA/UK Arts in Health Exchange and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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