Friday, 27 May 2011

the tide took all the sand away

get on the sands at Blackpool buy a jug of tea and paper cups for threpence... Irene

Our theme was childhood holidays, our target group 'over 60s', our materials paper plates and we were sustained by cups of tea, donuts and chocolate mini rolls. Yesterday morning Phil and I were based at Four Acre Library, joined by Owen from the Arts Service and a wonderful new addition to our group, Tabitha Moses.

We've gone away with five children and this is the Gods truth, with £5. Five of them, two children in nappies. We got off the coach in Blackpool, it was throwing it down, we went for plastic macs in Woolworths... Irene

This was an informal drop-in session: over the morning 8 participants 'dropped', some staying for 10 minutes, some an hour. Everyone gave generously of their memories and selected single lines to create circular poems, written on paper plates. The paper plates will be used as designs for ceramic versions.

The photograph I have, my younger brother, I can see to this day, my brother and the other is sat down on the sand on New Brighton eating butties... Sid

The benefit of a drop-in session is that spontanaeity helps to take away some of the apprehension about making art and writing poetry. We regularly work with older people who haven't done any art or poetry since school. Many were put off it at a tender age. By working in a familiar environment  and approaching the art and poetry through reminiscence, we seem to be winning over a little gang of makers.

As ever, our topic travelled far from seaside sun to include many other subjects; some were chilling recollections of poverty that brought back Tuesday's session with Rainer Ganahl:

There were seven of us in the family. Two up two down. Two sisters shared one bed, then 3 boys shared a bed with me mum and dad, an army jacket on the bed to keep us warm. When you couldn't afford coal you would burn anything. Once we tore the linoleum off the floor  to burn, anything to give you some heat.  Alan

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