Overview of workshops

PHASE ONE

Photography & writing with Vicki Painting

Introduction – exploring the notion of representation and the idea of ‘the gaze’ in photography. Who gets to tell our story? How might we tell our own? How should we tell someone else’s? Using a camera creates a sense of distance from the subject allowing a safe space to investigate new ways of looking and provides an alternative visual language as a means of expressing ourselves. Within these five workshops we will engage with photography in the widest sense, either through the pictures we make or perhaps through the use of found images or those from personal archives. As a tool to frame our world, photography involves decision making, in that we have to choose what to include and what to leave out. We will all use our phones to take pictures. These images will serve to voice what might be difficult to put into words. Equally we might prefer to begin with some text, either our own words, or a piece of writing which resonates with us and which might inspire us to make a photograph. Topic ideas:

  • Still Life (Distant voice) – This is a genre which includes the portrayal of all kinds of man-made or natural objects, the key being that they are inanimate.
  • Self- portrait – How do we see ourselves? What is a self -portrait? Is it about revealing our true selves?  Self -portraits offer the opportunity to explore self-perception and self -image while remaining one step removed.
  • A portrait of someone – Most dictionary definitions are somewhat lacking when they tell us that a portrait is “a likeness of a real person”. The American photographer Richard Avedon has said that a portrait is a picture of someone who ‘knows they are being photographed’. Portraits acknowledge that we know each other through faces, yet perhaps photographing someone from behind for example, might reveal a different facet?
  • Group collage – We will photograph either within the main building of the DLWP (not in exhibitions) or outside and be given a theme eg. a shape/ colour /mood. There would be a time limit of 45 minutes. We would then re-group to produce a collage of these images.
  • Printing /consolidating – This last session should bring together all the work done so far, printing and a final discussion.

Vicki Painting is a photographer & writer.
Download full info about photography workshops here.

PHASE TWO

Creative writing with Antonia Chitty

Overview: to create a story from medical records. Aspects of a person’s story can be found between the pages of a medical record, yet medical records are about the patient, not the person, for the practitioner, owned by the NHS. People can feel that they are being processed by the UK healthcare system, passed along some conveyor belt and dumped out the other side without any sense of control or resolution. People have a fundamental need for perception of narrative within their own lives, a plot with a beginning, middle and end. The workshop would explore how mothers can create their own ‘creative’ medical record that tells their story and gives them the control and resolution that they need in their health care journey. Techniques explored: free writing, an introduction to each topic, a short exercise, discussion/sharing, a reading of an inspiring piece of work, then a longer piece of writing followed by a final discussion/sharing. Topic ideas:

  • The referral letter – writing about yourself in the third person & discussion about people’s experiences of being referred, writing the letter we really want to write to someone involved in our healthcare.
  • The consultation – using dialogue on its own – a chance to take control of a conversation with a medical professional in a way that you may not have done in the past.
  • The setting and the senses – using the five senses to explore how participants feel about their medical encounters.
  • Medical imagery – writing from a range of images as a starting point for writing.
  • Medical tests – talking about the experience of being tested. This could cover tests which aim to evaluate your mental health, and/or physical diagnostic tests, depending on people’s interests and experience.
  • Everyone taking part would be supplied with a folder – their own medical record, which they can customise and keep their work in.

Antonia Chitty is an entrepreneur, author & journalist

PEER SUPPORT

Peer support sessions will run alongside the project at Egerton Park Children’s Centre, led by qualified peer support workers from Recovery Partners. These sessions will be more informal, following the needs of the group to decide subjects for discussion, which might include dealing with anxiety & depression, managing triggers, examining addictive behaviour, managing relationships etc. Participants are encouraged to attend as many of these sessions as possible to gain valuable skills in managing mental health challenges, as well as tools for supporting others going through similar experiences.

PROJECT TIMELINE
Tuesdays 10am – 12.30pm

Phase One: Photography & peer support
12 Feb 2019 1. Introduction to project @ DLWP Studio
19 Feb 2019 2. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
26 Feb 2019 3. Photography & writing with Vicki Painting @ DLWP Studio
5 Mar 2019 4. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
12 Mar 2019 5. Photography & writing with Vicki Painting @ DLWP Studio
19 Mar 2019 6. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
26 Mar 2019 7. Photography & writing with Vicki Painting @ DLWP Studio
2 Apr 2019 8. Informal peer support session @ The Work Shop, 4 Wickham Ave, Bexhill
9 Apr 2019 9. Interviews for podcast @ DLWP Studio
16 Apr 2019 10. Photography & writing with Vicki Painting @ DLWP Studio
23 Apr 2019 11. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
30 Apr 2019 12. Photography & writing with Vicki Painting @ DLWP Studio
7 May 2019 13. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
Phase Two: Creative writing & peer support
14 May 2019 14. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
21 May 2019 15. Creative writing with Antonia Chitty @ DLWP Studio
28 May 2019 16. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
4 Jun 2019 16. Creative writing with Antonia Chitty @ DLWP Studio
11 Jun 2019 18. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
18 Jun 2019 19. Creative writing with Antonia Chitty @ DLWP Studio
25 Jun 2019 20. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
2 Jul 2019 21. Creative writing with Antonia Chitty @ DLWP Studio
9 Jul 2019 22. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
16 Jul 2019 23. Informal peer support session led by peer workers
23 Jul 2019 24. Creative writing with Antonia Chitty @ DLWP Studio
30 Jul 2019 25. Finale: wrapping up the project & evaluations, listening to podcast @ DLWP Studio
30 Sept 2019 Presentation for arts & mental health professionals at DLWP Studio
Launch of publication & podcasts

Venues: De La Warr Pavilion, Marina, Bexhill On Sea, East Sussex, TN40 1DP
Egerton Park Children’s Centre, Egerton Road, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3HL

NB: participants can choose to participate in either the photography or creative writing workshops or both, as well as the peer-support sessions & podcast depending on interest & availability. Please ensure you are able to commit to all chosen sessions for continuity.

FOR ENQUIRIES AND TO BOOK A PLACE, CONTACT PROJECT COORDINATOR XAVERINE MA BATES: x.m.a.bates@recovery-partners.co.uk, 07736 967764

Image credit: Warehouse Aphrodite © Vicki Painting

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