Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Royal Belter

We're working in partnership with Gallery Oldham to help rethink their reminiscence boxes as tools to stimulate art, writing and shared reflection. This week Glenys from Gallery Oldham brought in a collection of souvenir Royal ceramics for the group to handle.

Doreen and Irene's Royal beakers

Lois writes about the process:

It's refreshing to take words, painting and drawing off flat paper and onto a three dimensional shape, it encourages thinking in the round - continuous circular texts or drawings.

I used my own collection of Royal Souvenir ceramics to inspire the background of the paper beakers, painting simple circular frames, stripes and washes of colour in blues and gold. If time allowed, all the painting would be done by the participants, but in this case I wanted to get a head start, allowing time in the session for reminiscence and poetry making.

Denise's Royal Beaker

Our group includes people who find it physically difficult to draw, some who have little confidence and some people who are open to anything, so as ever I approached the art making as a bit of fluff, a game, encouraging people not to be to precious or concerned about the end results. Their task was to paint or draw a themselves as Royals, or if that was too much to simply write a message. Denise's (above) borrows from the Royal mugshot tradition, immortalising her date of birth and her name with the additional HRH.

Other members of the group illustrated their beakers with pictures of Royal Selves, a gloomy Prince Charles and sundry crowns. There was a real sense of fun and delight at the end results.

Reet brought along two of her young relatives, who charmed everyone with their enthusiasm and confidence. This like so many of the creative ideas arthur+martha use is one that can be adapted for participation by any age-group, no matter how blue their blood.

More photos can be found at

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