DaDaFest delivered two sets of visual arts workshops for the patients at Alder Hey as a pilot partnership project between DaDaFest and Alder Hey, with support from Curious Minds, with the view of developing further programmes in the future. The idea for the partnership came about from a conversation between the two organisations around Arts Award delivery. We then approach Curious Minds to provide Arts Award support.
Our aim was to enable young disabled people or young people living with long term illness at Alder Hey to gain an introduction into the arts and develop their visual arts skills. We hoped through taking part that the young people would improve their confidence, self-esteem and have a positive effect on their mental health, and that we would encourage a passion and enthusiasm for the Arts.
DaDaFest artists worked in two wards within the hospital; each young person was given an art pack containing a sketchbook, pastels, watercolour pencils, a disposable camera and collage materials. The young people looked at the theme of journeys and worked towards creating a final artwork.
Two of the young people worked towards their Explore Arts Awards, here is what they said about their Arts Awards journeys:
“My name is Edith and Leila has been coming to see me and teach me how to use the camera, and she has been teaching me how to do zooming, close ups and medium shoots. I enjoyed most taking pictures and exploring the work of different artists. I choose the photo by looking at what was good in the phone and what I had in the photo and my photo of mini (the teddy bear) is going to go onto a postcard. It was very hard to choose but I had to look at what was good in the photo and what was bad.” Edith, age 10
“I got loads of photos of flowers and I copied them in many ways, I used felt, oil pastels and coloured paper, I did quite a few, I did a blue one, I did a tree as well, I like the tree. I like the oil pastels they are my favourite, I liked using the techniques on it, blending was good. For the photos, I just decided to take photos of things that were important to me so I took photos of my machine and my toothbrush because everyone who comes into hospital brings their own toothbrush.” Nancy, age 15
Our next steps will be to send the sketchbooks the young people created to be moderated. We are applying for funding to allow us to continue with the project and to enable our artist to deliver visual arts workshops on a regular basis at the hospital with Arts Awards delivery as a key element of this.
(The names of the young people have been changed.)
By Sam Wade, Arts Manager , Young People, DaDaFest