Wednesday, 25 September 2013

July/August/September

The last 3 months have really flown by, and here I am again thinking 'whoops, should probably write a blog post'.

I spent all of July and half of August in the states. Had a lovely weekend with my lovely friends Ryan and Becca at their lovely wedding in Oklahoma City. Then just hung out in Omaha, enjoying doing very little.


When I got home I started a two week volunteer placement with an organisation called Venture Arts. What they do is provide art workshops for adults with learning disabilities, for example Down Syndrome or Autism, and through regular attendance the participants create artwork in a variety of media, all based around a single topic. The current topic is nature, so I have been helping people to create photograms of flowers, make origami hedgehogs, stitch observational drawings of plants onto fabric, and create 3D collage self portraits from pressed leaves.

I wasn't sure going into the placement how I would find it. I'd never worked with people with disabilities before, or in community arts, so was a little bit worried I wouldn't be any good at it, or I would find it difficult and not enjoy it, but straight away I found it by far the most enjoyable and rewarding work I have ever done (voluntary or otherwise). I've enjoyed getting to know the participants and their quirks, and assisting with the activities is a nice little creative outlet for me without any of the stress or self criticism that hinders my own work sometimes. It's quite therapeutic! I now only do the Wednesday morning class because I am trying to find paid work, but it is something that I still look forward to each week. I've been thinking about possible career paths that would involve similar work, perhaps in community arts or art therapy. I'm not sure how easy it would be but it's definitely something  I can see myself working towards.