To increase the reach and scope of the Thurrock Art Trail, this year we hosted an artist development programme! Three artists (Jen Farrant, Brad Rumble and Arooj Khan) were mentored by Lata Upadhyaya, a local artist with a wealth of experience in community arts practice. They used these mentoring sessions to develop workshops, through which they create a series of artworks with local community groups. The work created was displayed as part of the Art Trail at Thameside Theatre, with a private view on Tuesday 25th July from 8pm, followed by local artist John Gathercole’s monthly arts variety night, C.U.L.T!
Given the strategic regeneration that Thurrock is currently undergoing, and the fact that the area has been touted as the ‘most profitable area of England’ by Lord Heseltine, I am currently looking to facilitate a workshop with a group of 6-10 young people in order to gain their input in designing a Thurrock specific Monopoly board.
The contributions made by the young people during the workshop, and the areas in which they choose to ‘invest’ in during the course of the game will all serve to inform my wider research, which looks at how regeneration affects young people’s perceptions of the wider community and how it also affects their civic identities.
The workshops will focus on what Thurrock means to each person in the workshop –what they like about it, why they live here, as well as what is important to them in their life. I am interested in how living in Thurrock forms their lives, through looking for the beauty in the everyday details.
The workshops will consist of a series of brainstorm exercises and discussions, before moving on to getting the best photos out of your smartphone, this will be through demonstration and practical exercises.
We will discuss how to capture what is important to them in a series of three photographs.
I will be holding art workshops aimed at improving the self-confidence and well-being of participants. During the workshop I will highlight some of the techniques and thought patterns I use to develop an idea and how our emotional state can determine the outcome of the visual language. I found I was able to pour a lot of my inner conflict onto the canvas or page whilst simultaneously nurturing an extremely therapeutic and useful skill-set that has earnt me commissions for book illustrations, toy design, tattoo design and a level of happiness I never thought I would aspire to.