Sharing Experience - news from our symposium
I thoroughly enjoyed today, its been great to hear more about the transformative effect that the project has had on many participants.
Huge thanks to everyone for coming and to all our panel and volunteers for making It’s My World Symposium a valuable event.
For the Trust it represents the culmination of several years of developing a fluid, creative and trust building approach to working with children and young people.
Through the project children and young people have been captivated by the freedom and beauty of the surroundings here at The Rodd; have thrived on the variety of creative content and embraced new connections with artists, volunteers and others.
The symposium introduced delegates to the artists and organisations involved in shaping and delivering the project, whose reflections were honest and insightful.
Delegates came from backgrounds in the arts, education and health and wellbeing and were keen to network, learn about the project and explore the urban and rural context for working with communities.
Delegates enjoyed “candid conversations about partnership working and outcome” and how the project “empowers participants by asking and enabling them to contribute, share and teach.”
Kashimar Munroe, Partnership and Progressions Officer, explained how for mums living in St Basils’ projects getting away to The Rodd takes their minds off the crisis they are dealing with to enjoy time with their babies and toddlers.
Shafaq Hussain from Creative Cohesion West Midlands descried how he and his colleague Rani visited each family to encourage them to visit the Rodd illustrating how much work is involved in building trust between participants and organisers.
“Flicking a light switch” was an analogy used by potter Tony Hall – the moment when he sees a participant ‘gets’ the creative process; is inspired by what they’re doing and wants to learn. A lot about being a tutor on the project, Tont explained is waiting for that moment and then supporting participants to explore their own ideas.
Kate Green – photographer and tutor - said that at first she didn’t feel that she was really doing anything until she realised that rather than being a ‘lead’ artist (where she was instructing everyone) in this project she has been a ‘follow’ artist –enabling participants to use photography to capture their own discoveries about nature and creativity.
Nushin Hussain worked as assistant artists and built up a photographic record of the entire project which was on show during the day. Nushin described herself as a fly on the wall capturing experiences and reflecting the participants engagement in all elements of the workshops: playing with clay, making keepsakes; splashing in the river; sharing food and spending time together.
Watching the slide show of Nushins' photos.
We are very grateful to Professor Rod Bugg for facilitating and to Dr Karamat Iqbal for sharing some of his research.
We were delighted that Kirsten Gibbs from the Ragdoll Foundation could join us. Kirsten spoke about the origins of the Foundation and the kind of projects it supports. When talking about It’s My World Kirsten explained that the Trustees had been impressed by the fact that a tiny organisation had a huge ambition and the capacity and wherewithal to achieve it.
Photo credits: Victoria Eastwood