Work that involves participation by way of contribution is there because it has been created collectively. When working with people who are in isolated or vulnerable situations the artwork becomes a catalyst for change. Its linage is of activisim and dialogical art practices.

Sunday, 1 June 2008

Bangladeshi mature ladies goup

I am volunteering on a project run by Artworks, Creative Communities, Bradford who are delivering a project focusing on healthly eating with a group of mature ladies from Bangladesh who meet regularly at BEAP in Manningham in Bradford.

When the lead artist Sarah McHenry and I met to discuss the ten week project we agreed that I would do a session on papermaking. I suggested using herbal tea to introduce this to the ladies in and informal way. After a series of sessions where the ladies used dried foods to make patterns, then draw from these patterns we decided that would be a good point to bring in the paper making session.

Some of the ladies were aware of the process and were really looking forward to giving it a go. I allowed them to lead and they encouraged the others in the group to take part. A problem that we face with this group is that many of the ladies don't speak much English. This session was very visual and I found it easy to demonstrate and facilitate with limited verbal communication.

The ladies all loved this process and were delighted when their sheet came out. They used herbal tea to dye the sheets and plants and dried food to decorate. Here are some images of the process.

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