‘this way up’ at perton library
‘This Way Up’ is a wellbeing project by Creative Health CIC for people living in Wolverhampton and Staffordshire. The project is tailored to different community groups, including asylum seekers, refugees, migrants, people with dementia and the general public. The project gives the participants chance to take part in weekly art and craft sessions. The aim is to give the communities a sense of wellbeing and escape, a break from every day life and an opportunity to develop their creativity. ‘This Way Up’ is led by three artists, Ben Sadler, Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Justin Wiggan. Six other artists, including myself have been given the opportunity to develop their own practice by working alongside the lead artists as part of a ‘Professional Development Programme’. These artists are Carolyn Morton, iLdiko Nagy, Emma Price, Jamila Walker and Priya Mistry. Selected works will be exhibited in Wolverhampton Art Gallery for the public to see.
My second block of sessions have taken place at Perton library with artists Sarah Taylor Silverwood and Priya Mistry. Sarah led the first two sessions with some printing workshops. The group really enjoyed the lino printing, and the results were stunning! Some of the group even continued to try out these techniques at home, and some brought their work back in to show. It’s lovely to see the group taking pride in their work.
Priya Mistry’s interactive sculpture building sessions were a real challenge for the group. It was fantastic to see the group step out of their comfort zones and experiment with new ways of thinking and approaches to making. A real fun session, with some great results!
The Perton Library workshops were the first ‘This Way Up’ sessions in which I used clay. I decided to take a different approach and use porcelain clay. Although porcelain can be difficult to work with, the results can be stunning. The first session was a morning session and the participants are a craft group which regularly meet at the library. I collected textures for the group to roll into the clay. These were fabric, lace, wallpapers and foliage. We created small, slab built pots using porcelain. The participants used printing techniques to add blue cobalt oxide, and we used letter stamps to add quotes, lyrics and words on to plaques. My last afternoon session was a drop-in. The participants created bookmarks, using similar techniques to the first session, and the results were lovely. The participants gave great feedback, with some taking a real interest in clay. I am looking forward to the group collecting the fired work, I hope they will be as pleased with the results as I am!