Our Pilot Project

The Veil Exhibition

May 26th-28th 2019

The participants, all amateurs artists, were being asked to read a small book of nostalgic poems, choose a poem or a line and express how they felt. They came from all walks of life. Some were participating for the pleasure to give an aim to their skills, others to de-stress and some ended up revealing past and current emotional/mental issues. They had the same conditions to work with as we are offering today for our new project, which means self motivation but with the support of our Therapeutic Project Coordinator if needed. Also in order to avoid comparison, build their self-confidence and promote contrast of interpretation, they had to develop their artwork independently of the group. They knew the aim was not excellence but having the courage to express how they felt. It took us 12 months to find the right venue for this type of creative expressions which means the participants had over 9 months to create their work; so at a very relaxing pace! The role of the Therapeutic Project Coordinator Nathalie, as part of the stage exposure, was to listen to the participant's story and decide with the artist how much they would be prepared to reveal during the private and the public exhibition and create an explanatory card for the artwork to be read by the visitors. At each stage of the process, and although there was support and encouragement to reach their goal, the amateur artists had control and were not pressurized to actually exhibit their artwork or even produce one. The motto being a that point "if the process is stressing you out then you are missing the objective of the project". During the private exhibition, the participants met for the first time. They could explore each other's perspectives, exchange ideas, numbers and talk about their situations or not over a hot drink. As for the public exhibition, the artists had already built a certain momentum of confidence at revealing their inner world, so they had the opportunity to introduce themselves to the visitors as our Project Coordinator was guiding them through, explaining the artworks. The artists had the option to sell their artwork which bring the self confidence's bar even higher. But the Artists had to independently decide how much they thought their work was worth to them, and with the understanding in mind that selling is just the cherry on the top of the cake and participating and revealing their inner world is the base of the cake"...and also that 10% commission would be due to the charity. This group did very well and we are proud of them. They are being invited to participate in our new project for the simple reasons they are role models for others to learn from, they have a certain type of resilience worth passing on to others who are still in the mist of their own inner struggles. And because one of our aims is to promote integration and inclusion, so to do just that we need people from all paths of life and finally because maintaining a good mental health balance is a wealth that we all deserve......and in a world where talking about how we feel is not something we have been conditioned to do, creativity is a tool which does not require words....it can only bring us together in a kind and socially way. 

Please , have a look at :

1. our exhibition's photos

       2. the reasons why initially the people involved  wanted to participate.

       3. Feedback from the participants

       4. feedback from the visitors

INITIAL REASONS FOR BEING IN THIS PROJECT FROM EVERYONE INVOLVED

 

  • Taking the opportunity to spread my oils and brushes over my house again

  •  Being intrigued with the idea of this project

  •  Feeling courage and urgency to start something new.  Loving poetry

  •  Having a deep desire to be an example to my daughter on how to spot beauty in all that we     do every day.

  •  Fresh challenge

  •  Different ways to use creative skills

  •  Opportunity to express and explore my artist abilities, in the freedom of a multimedia   context.

  •  Produce a reflective response/piece of work within a multi-cultural theme.

  •  Participate in a project I would not normally undertake (if I were to do this alone).

  •  Share my thoughts/ emotions/feelings with other ‘strangers’ in a contextual environment.

  •  Seek external feedback on a creative piece which may provide stimulation or inspiration   leading onto further work.

  •  It forces me to be creative

  •  To do something different

  •  Got involved to provide me with inspiration and the creative impetus to start painting again.

  •  Develop my artistic skills in line drawing and painting

  •  To get a chance to exhibit my work

  •  To help with somebody else work.

  •  Market exposure/ opportunity

  •  Learning from other artists

  •  To try another form of inspiration for my work other than visual.

  •  Self motivation and to create an image interpreting the written words.

  •  All through my life.......an amazing feeling that I should paint, draw or..... create something.

  •  Opportunity to interpret somebody else work

  •  Enjoying Art

  •  Something different to experience

  •  Improve my work/ life balance

  •  Motivation to create a piece of art from a poem, something completely out of my comfort zone.

  •  To help the promotion of the book for the writer.

  •  To be part of an exciting creative group project.

  •  I very much like the idea of using the poetry as a starting point. Lately, I have been very "stuck" regarding my artwork - 'Painter's Block', you might say. Having the poetry to work around will hopefully lever me out of my current rut.

  •  Because it is a challenge.

  •  Interesting project

  •  want to see how other interpret my art

  •  help to promote other artists

  •  I really love the idea of different artists interpreting the literature in their own ways, with their   own perspectives and style! This concept really appealed to me when mentioned by a friend,   and I just wanted to get involved - simple!

  •  To gain more experience painting and creating art, as I only do it occasionally.

  •  This project inspires me to think of how others would view my art rather than doing art for          myself only.

  •  To experience other people’s interpretations of the original book when we have all finished.

  •  Interesting project to be a part of.

  •  I'm excited to see how poetry is artistically interpreted.

  •  Inspire others to use their imagination and produce something creative.

  •  Be inspired by others to keep my own imagination enriched.

  •  Be part of a long term collaboration where we support each other in developing and   promoting creative ideas.

  • Tapping into my own dormant artistic skills, which nowadays I don’t usually use unless I have a purpose for it.

  • Providing other creative people with an opportunity to express their skills, dormant or not, (painting, photography, drawing, singing, making music, crafting...) by taking part in this adventure.

  •  Promoting, from the book “The veil that strangers wear”, a message of unicultural   understanding, when it comes to emotions and feelings.

  •  Encouraging free, individual contrast of interpretation where nobody is right or wrong.

  •  Providing the artists with the opportunity to have their work publicly seen in an exhibition   setting, to shine and to gain a financial reward, as well as potentially getting future customers.

  •  Inspiring the public to become more creative, by showing them there is diversity within the   artistic community.

  •  Personally, working within this team is an enormous learning curve on a different scale, when   I usually rely on my own abilities and confidence to achieve projects.

  •  The biggest reason for me is the overall psychological reward that self-motivation and     achievement will bring to each and everyone involved in this project.

  •  And finally, being open to something potentially even bigger than this project....meeting and   gathering people from different backgrounds and cultures.....and maybe finding myself a   new long term role with society.

  FEEDBACK FROM THE PARTICIPANTS

 

Dear  participants,

Thank you for having taken part in this project & exhibition. I hope you have enjoyed our journey so far. Now in order to improve the making of our next project I would very much appreciate your feedback.

The answers are the average for the group.

  1. On the scale 0 to 10, how satisfied in general are you about the whole experience so far?(0 being not so good and 10 being very satisfied)

The average is 8.33

    2. On the scale 0 to 10, and taking in consideration your own reasons for taking part in this              project, do you feel you have achieved your objectives? (0 being not really and 10 yes fully          achieved)

The average is 8

    3. On the scale 0 to 10, would you say this project has helped you to reinforce a certain                    confidence in yourself? (0 being not at all and 10 being yes definitely)

       The average is 8

    4. Which stage has been the most rewarding for you?

       One said: meeting people

       But on average;

       1st rewarding stage is A) the initial development.

       2nd rewarding stage is C )The public exhibition.

       3rd rewarding stage is between B ) The preview & D ) selling your artwork​

    5. Would you like to participate in the next project?

        all said “yes” – a part from one who said “May be”

    6. How can I improve the service and myself as a coordinator to enhance your satisfaction in            participating?

       (For example: more information, more encouragement and nudging…..more meetings)

  • I feel we need a system of mutual motivation and sharing our ideas as artists. What I lack is confidence and skills. Having discussed with peers can help me develop both.

  • Thank you

  • Can’t imagine that you could do even more

  • Keep going!

  • Impossible!

  • As we had French lessons you always kept me informed.

 

FEEDBACK FROM THE VISITORS

 

26th-28th of April 2019 - Exhibition in Holton Lee for our pilot project

We had about 60 to 70 visitors in 3 days….so feedback from them

1. How did you know the exhibition was on?

65% were invited by participants or were connected to the participants and 35% were visiting the center for other activities

      2. What is your impression about this project and exhibition?

Different – it is a good mix of artists and very visual – inspired – it has been very interesting hearing about the progress from the initial idea to the final outcome and how the idea has grown and evolved – a very good idea to prove to exhibitors that they are capable and people are willing to help them through art - enjoyed looking at the Art work – the charity was something I’d never heard of before – different styles - Very good idea – well worth while

Inspiring – very enlightening – beautifully put together for a good cause - Could be used /done at another place & time – enchanting, calming and nostalgic – very worthwhile project – wonderful job the exhibition was very good and it exceeded my expectations – I think the project is brilliant, giving much needed opportunities for people to be able to express their true feelings. The exhibition is brilliant. Some truly amazing art work – I loved the idea behind the project. Clear focus on individuality. Positive opening up to different backgrounds, experiences, etc.….

Excellent, moving & fantastic location - Very deep thinking and I am amazed at the variety of the art - With the explanations it was very good - Interesting and unusual concept – great back stories left for the pieces - It is great to see how each artist has interpreted different parts of the written work - Really enjoyed the variety of interpretations of the poems - Very worthwhile and laid out. Nathalie was excellent at interpreting each piece – I was impressed with the range of projects here, and the way they are all displayed. The “tour” was good – but the story could be under each picture for busy times (in bigger print for those with poor eye sight) – completely blown away by people’s talents

      3. Any feedback about the artworks you would like to leave for the amateur artists to read?

Very powerful piece – imprisoned – for women who experienced domestic violence – liked Michael Angelo’s work- the oasis story pictures say a story to me – I love the collage artwork with its vibrant colors - Amazing silk work.

So much talent on display! – lovely to see the variety of media used and the creative interpretation – I am in awe of you all !Particular favorites for me were the enamel, the silk paintings and the oil painting. Keep up the good work!

All of the art work is superb, powerful, challenging and full of feelings and emotions. My own personal favorite one is the masks by Sue Harrod as this really hit home with me. I have worn many masks in the past to hide the real me.

The silk paintings are stunning – wonderful use of colors

If the semi abstract misty building wasn’t already sold I would have been tempted

There is so much depth in the painting of the girl with purple hair – it makes you stop and think anytime you look at it.

They are all good as “paintings” but knowing the thinking behind them gives each another dimension – great.

Keep up the good work and remember it’s yours!

Be proud- so much talent

The emotion shown in the items is very moving, and thought provoking. I was pleased that we were show round, and told some of the back stories which made them more powerful.

The emotions come through in many of the pieces of work.

It takes courage to exhibit and expose yourself to potential criticism.

The work by Sue Harrod in particular is brave to do as I know and it probably means more to other people than she realises. We are all been there to some degree.

All the art meant something different to each individual artist; also to every person looking at the art saw something different within their work.

I really liked the 3 moons

Some real talent on show here – particularly impressed with the silk prints.

Each piece was well received on its own merit. The brief was followed by each artist in their individual interpretation of the concept. I enjoyed the creativity on display. Having the book to hand added an extra dimension to allow us to reflect on the artist inspiration.

I am logical and so for me I’d like to see the exhibition in the order of the written book.

A diverse and enlightening set of works

The more colorful ones were my favorites

Very interesting pieces with a lot of story behind them

Great back stories left for the pieces. – Interesting concepts

The ability to express deep feelings in the form of painting is good.

This could open up more adventures through your art.

They all show their views differently. The favorite of mine would be Muhammad’s drawing and his “interesting “perspective.

Impressive artworks – very talented – very clever interpretation

      4. Would you like to see similar projects in the future?

100% said yes

      5. Would you like to be involved in our next project?

6 said yes, 2 may be and 4 said they might know somebody else who might