‘VC LD Creatives’ is a project developed with The VC Gallery and The Anchorage SAC, which took place over September - November 2022.
The project explored the West Wales LD charter, the experiences and perspectives of artists with learning disabilities facilitating workshops for people with more profound learning disabilities and support staff.
Over thirteen weeks The VC Gallery delivered a series of mixed media art workshops with fourteen LD participants and four Anchorage staff members. All participants were based in and around Pembroke Dock with the majority accessing the services of The Anchorage weekly. Access was not limited to Anchorage customers and saw a further three participants from the community take part. The workshops took place in the ‘project’ room at the Pembroke Dock site.
The aim of the project was to engage with LD clients using the innovative approach of LD facilitators. To improve the skills of artists, support staff and participants whilst keeping the aims of the West Wales LD Charter as the main perspective.
Participant enthusiasm during the workshops led to the making of a large collage built up of hand made painted and patterned paper; a farmyard scene inspired by the individuals interests.
Clay was used in four sessions to fashion pumpkins, bespoke hanging trinkets which were suspended from drift wood mobiles and Gonks. These were then hand painted when dry. . Each technique was incorporated into a larger piece or became part of a group 3D display. In this case we celebrated Halloween.
Canvases and clay created images based on their likes and then painted eg one participant made a rabbits head on canvas and another the Marvel symbol.
Each week we undertook, short debriefs on the sessions which were held between facilitators from The VC Gallery and the project manager, reflecting on our practice, tools and ability of all involved.
Participants learnt new ways of creating items and expressing themselves, showing each other the things they love. Support staff also benefited from learning alongside and this gave them confidence o utilise the skills in their workplaces.
“I just loved everything about it! It was amazing!!”
I am enjoying it. I enjoy coming here. I liked gluing. I liked making the clay on canvas tractor. The VC is brilliant. I have met new people. My singing at lunchtime has people joining in and is a conversation starter.
I enjoy it at the VC. I made a clay on Canvas horse. I enjoy being here. I am using my IPad communication aid constantly to talk to new people I meet. I asked my Mother to request photographs of new friends to be taken on my IPad so that I can talk to my family about my day at the VC Gallery. I am so proud of my art, and I enjoy every session.