Jeff, who runs community art projects, holds free weekly sessions that are open to all here at the Gateway Centre. Jeff describes the sessions as offering people regular access to a relaxed space where they can get to know other people from the community:
“With these sorts of sessions we’re aiming at reducing isolation by putting things on. It’s something people can come and have a go at and where people can be together with others. It’s a friendly environment and people haven’t got to perform; everyone is working at their own level and in different ways: there’s no pressure to acheive certain goals. But it’s also about applying yourself and developing your skills and technique to accomplish something on a personal level. This thereby increases a sense of self esteem, through producing a finished piece of work that other people recognise and value.”
Above (from left to right) is a still life work in progress by Albert, Sher Baig with one of his drawings, and Pete Curtis with some of his sculptures that he brought in for others to draw.
Sher describes the place as friendly, where people can share their talent. He enjoys painting with jungle themes and uses intricate patterns. Albert is an ex-boxer and used to get prizes for his art at school but hasn’t painted since. He has now been coming to these sessions off and on since last year and finds the classes relaxing. Pete Curtis describes the sessions as not just an art group, but also as a social thing.
Everyone is welcome to come along next week and try their hand at some drawing and painting. See you there!