Monday, 28 April 2014

reflections on journals stroke art

Having just finished the 8 session creative journal project with Stroke Association NW finally found the time to write down and post thoughts and reflections.

My initial feeling is how much reciprocal learning went on between all the participants and myself, an ongoing conversation that built borrowed and ballooned as the weeks went by.
Having a two week space between each of the 8 sessions gave time for ideas to settle, sometimes morph and become richer so when the group met there was an eagerness to get stuff done.

The participants in Castleton Community Centre came from a wide age range with a wealth of different experiences and degrees of confidence brought together by a desire to share time, space and stories during their recovery time from Stroke.

I was invited as a member of Nelly Globe charity organisation along with Rod Kippen and  to deliver a creative project that had the use of journals at its heart.

Participants engaged in the process with vigour! exploring new materials, challenging previously set ways of thinking, developing new skills with a variety of media and generally become risk takers.

Rebuilding books, repairing pages, destroying images, breaking sentences, finding alternative ways to communicate, often without words.

It was empowering, making decisions with simple materials, often getting lost and confused, somewhat out of control, but celebrating the uncertainty, and trusting that in the end the pages would tell that story.

people gave over their trust

Both Alice and Anne shared similar revelations;

"It was those words in the balloons that did it for me. I realised then 4, weeks down the line, what it was all about!
I could see my work differently. that part of my page is where I was unwell, that bit means family, this colour recovery... all the things i had been through."

"It was 3 weeks before i realised what I was doing and then there it was all laid out in front of me ... it all makes sense " 

I observed so much interaction and co-operation as friendships were forged whilst people held work steady for each other, boosting self esteem and confidence with passing comment

"oh, that bit looks lovely, how did you do it?"

The process opened up conversation, discussion and skill sharing between old and young regardless of abilities and experience as we..