Thursday, 10 February 2011

week 4 Special Offers

Special Offer Poems
This week Phil started the session working on Special Offer poems, short concrete poems in the shape of stars, reflecting the young peoples wishes. Some funny, some touching, they gently reveal a little about the authors. You can see examples at and

It's beginning to feel more like an art foundation course, rather than a usual community art project- the time we have been given to get to know the children- and visa versa. This is the fantastic opportunity that five hours spent in one day, and 5 weeks gives you. The depth of the work, the time spent on one piece- the large self portraits worked on over a series of weeks- a luxury that schools would never be given.

Len Stenciling

Each young person bringing their own personality and interests to the work. There's lots of laughter and tons of energy, its a joy when we introduce an idea and they take it and run with it in their own direction, bringing their own self to it.

Then out of the blue come moments that reveal another side of being a young person, and a young carer. The anguish, the frustrations, the anger, the sadness, reflected directly in the words below scratched into the paper. This young artist, told us the previous week that she used art making directly as a release for the tensions and anger of being a young carer- running to her room and scribbling into paper.

 'Help Me'

We had a bit of a break through with the trainers. I had the idea that the stenciled words would look great on them, layering with their handwriting. Thanks to Luke we had our first example. Next week we are going to encourage a whole poem written over a collection- one word or line on each shoe.

Luke's trainer, 'Tiring'

As the group were leaving, I asked 'will we see you next week?' Ryan loudly exclaimed, 'You're not getting rid of us now!' 

Ryan's stencilled self portrait

These workshops seems to be getting the thumbs up.

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