Interim Viewing: A Visual Conversation

Post by Creative Women’s Collective member:

The interim viewing on Saturday, 3rd December was very successful and informative in many ways, especially in terms of feedback and questions about the model of our collaborative approach.

From the outset we agreed not to have any boundaries or rules. The only agreement on which the collective was based was that we were all free to work wherever we liked. Now, that is a whole different ballgame.  We never talked about our work to each other.  No ideas were exchanged and no one knew what others would do. For a long time we didn’t even see each other. I would arrive at the studio and find some marks had been made, areas had been worked on, colours added to the areas previously blank.  Of course, there were periods when I was upset if my work has been painted on in a manner that I didn’t like and I had to remind myself of the fundamental agreement in principle – no rules.

On the day of the viewing, the biggest question the visitors had was, ‘Are you still talking to each other?’

 

The site specific nature of this work brought an extra dimension to this work. The paper on which the artwork was made followed the curves and the edges of the rooms, thus, almost compelling the viewer to continue to carry on viewing. One of the viewers said that they hadn’t seen this kind of work even in galleries in London. 

 

We are only half way through this project and the work seemed quite developed in places. So, that begs a question about the next stage and how should we address it.  Other questions arise, such as

Would this model of collaboration be successful all the time?

What if others are not sensitive to my work and create new work on top of it?

How do I tell that I am unhappy from other’s practice?

How do I tell that the art work is not working and others don’t agree with that?

Could we standardise this with a framework so that we could replicate it?

 

It also raises the question about breaking our own agreement of having no rules and introduce boundaries. What kind of boundaries?

 

 

 

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A Visual Conversation: An Interim Show

‘A Visual Conversation’ created by four artists who form the Creative Women’s Collective. 

Over the past month, four artists have been working together collectively in an experimental way.  The idea is for elements of each artists’ work to become part of the changing collective mark making.  It is about being totally open to the continuous energy of what has gone before, a visual conversation. 

 The venue:  126, Talbot Road, South Shields, NE34 0RG

Time:  Saturday, 3rd December – 1 – 3pm

 Come and join us over a drink and some nibbles.

Mental Health Awareness Session

Mental health is one such area that is often neglected within the BME community. It is seen as a taboo and often the sufferer goes unnoticed.  In order to raise awareness about it, Sangini is organising this participatory session – first of two sessions, so do come along if you are in the area.

Mental Health Awareness

Friday, 16th September 2016

10 am – 12.30 pm

(Women only)

 

We often talk about Mental Health but have little understanding about what it is and its impact on our daily lives.

Sangini is organising a session on Mental Health Awareness at

 

Sunderland Sikh Association, Ashbrooke Hall, The Cloisters, Sunderland, SR2 7ED

 

We are inviting a guest speaker from Sunderland Mind to help understand the issues surrounding Mental Health. You will learn about:

– What is classed as mental health issues’ ‘depression’ ‘self-harm’ etc.

– What are the barriers to seeking help

– What are the issues specific to BME communities

– What are the tools for recognising the signs of mental health issues and addressing them.

– What help or support is available?

After the talk on Mental Health there will be a Q & A session giving the participants an opportunity to ask questions on one to one basis in a confidential manner.  In addition, we have organised a light Yoga session which is one of the tools to help reduce mental health issues, such as depression.

We look forward to seeing you.  For more information please email:  projectsangini@gmail.com   or ring Padma Rao on: 07930175319

Leading by example!

Last week I met up with a friend that I hadn’t seen for sometime and what a day it turned out to be. We met up for the workshop in the morning and the plan was that I would drop her off afterwards at her home.  But it wasn’t to be and we ended up yapping till the evening.

The more we talked, the more I realised that this young woman had brought about extra-ordinary changes in her life – that too all by herself.  A little at a time, at her own pace and at different levels.

She realised that the environmental issues troubled her and she wanted to do something about it. So she read about it, gathered information and learnt about the role one can play to help it.  She began by telling her family about how they, as a family can do simple things such as reducing the use of plastic. So she replaced plastic bags with cotton reusable bags. Food waste would be recycled separately from general recycling collected by the council. The notion of recycling had permeated in every sphere of her life and she sought to make appropriate modifications accordingly.  Making these changes at home and following them has helped her little boy to realise that this was not a game, but a way of life.

It made me so happy to see how she had transformed from a quiet, demure person to a confident, chirpy and happy young woman. She had lost weight but in a way that brought healthy changes to her family’s diet too.  She now devises her own recipes and is not afraid to try out new ideas.  She doesn’t postpone walking upstairs, but finds any opportunity to sprint upstairs which gives her the much needed exercise at the same time, keeps her house clean.

We talked endlessly. I admired the way she had found happiness in her life.  She is making a difference in her as well as her son’s life in the long term.

Meanwhile, I came home feeling inspired and motivated that I needed to do my bit for the environment.

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Hijab: To Wear or Not to Wear!!

The news about the positive step taken by the Scotland Police to introduce Hijab as part of the police uniform for Muslim women is an important development in terms of inclusion, diversity and equality for women.  Just like the way Sikh men won the right to wear the turban as part of their police uniform all those years ago, an important part of clothing from religious and cultural perspective.  ‘Hijab’ that has often caused a stir, headlines and discussions in the West,  will now give Muslim women the choice to maintain their cultural identity while working for the force.

But then ‘Burkini’ hit the news when a woman was forced to remove it on a French beach.  Just across the waters, more than 20 towns have now banned this piece of clothing. A garment that allowed women to maintain their cultural norm while enjoy being part of the wider society is now a symbol of fear.  The image of a woman being forced to remove her top is disturbing and provoking and takes the discussion into the realms of women’s equality and their rights.

Amidst these two developments and their impact on Muslim women, Nadiya Hussain brings a breath of fresh air.  Her Chronicles on BBC 1 on Wednesday provided a personal yet candid perspective on why she choses to wear the hijab.  Whist it is difficult to understand why a woman should be soley held responsible to protect herself from the prying eyes, hence the need to cover herself fully, Nadiya made it look easy to understand why covering her hair was important for her.  It’s not about religion. It’s cultural, it’s personal.  And when one understands one’s culture,  choices become easy.

 

Ceramic Course

Participatory arts is at the heart of Sangini’s work. This is because we believe that engagement through arts and culture makes a lasting impact on our lives. Women who are not active and isolated – this is a great way to make them feel included, encourage them to learn new skills and make friends along the way.

 

Beginners Ceramic Course

Tutor: Mark Burn Cassell

Friday 26th August, 11am – 1.30 pm

Monkwearmouth Museum, Sunderland
Have fun, make friends while learning new skills and techniques in Ceramics with an established artist Mark Burn Cassell. (www.mbcceramics.com)

The course runs for six weeks and over this period you will be making small objects as well as learning about creating surface texture, glazing techniques and surface decoration.

The workshops are for women of all ages in a warm friendly environment.

The course fee is £12 payable at the registration on Friday 26th August. Please bring your NI number also.

For more information please contact Padma Rao on 07930175319 or email projectsangini@gmail.com