Our first funded project, Creative Challenge, ended recently. The final three sessions were all about visual art and were delivered by Rhiannon Gray.
Throughout these closing sessions, the group worked together to create clay masks and a group batik piece.
The masks were made with modelling clay, shaped around newspaper. In the main, they were not your usual type of masks – they were pieces that would show how people thought others looked at them, how they saw themselves, an embodiment of mental illness, how they felt on the inside and the issue of labels.
At different points in the sessions, the participants were able to do a little bit more work on their masks, until they were completed in the final session. Rhiannon had looked after the masks between sessions and put them in the kiln after the final session. We’ve posted a couple of images here, but many more are on our Facebook page.
The group batik piece saw everyone working around a table, together, for a session and a half. This was another technique, with hot, liquid wax held in special pen-like implements, which were used to draw designs on a large piece of white cloth. Once all the wax designs were down, each participant used different coloured paints to complete their designs – in many cases, the colours bled into each other to dramatic effect. The final piece will be displayed in a frame, that, along with many other items from the Creative Challenge project, will be displayed at different events over the coming months.
During the last session, Natasha James, from Breaking Barriers, returned to hand out DVDs with everyone’s digital stories on. These have been uploaded to the Making Minds YouTube channel. We also ended on a high, with a ‘hair raising’ portrait activity that had everyone in stitches, painting portraits of each other, with a novel twist at the end – check out our Facebook page to see the pictures! It was a lovely way to end a journey that had seen everyone learn and bond in such a short space of time. Credit goes to the participants for rolling their sleeves up and trying a bit of everything. It’s amazing to think of what they’d produced in 18 hours (9 x 2 hr sessions), considering everyone was learning new skills at some point. It’s given us, at Making Minds, a lot of pleasure and things we can take forward into future projects.
We’re hoping to display the outcomes of the Creative Challenge project at various events over the coming months. Details will be published on our social media feeds in due course. In the meantime, thanks to the Creative Challenge funders ‘Time to Change Wales’, to the artists/facilitators and to New Horizons for hosting the sessions. We will have news on our next project for you in the near future.