As part of The Vision Project we took time to talk to our wonderful participants. In this series which we have called PEOPLE OF VISION, we explore how they came to join in with The Vision Project and what they have taken away from it.
People of Vision
- What made you get involved in the Vision Project events and workshops?
I have always doodled and sketched things and drawing is something that I like to do, usually when I am on holiday. I have a box full of colouring pencils and paints, but I rarely have the time to use them.
During lockdown, I took part in a morning art therapy course provided by Action for carers, I really enjoyed the experience, as it helped my to focus on my feelings and emotions at the time.
When I saw on FDS Facebook page that there had been creative challenge throughout lockdown, I remember feeling at the time, that I wished that I had been part of it, so when I saw that there were new art courses available, I knew that it was something that I wanted to get involved in.
Emma is such a positive, creative, lighting rod of a person who is so generous with her talents, that I really wanted to be part of this new adventure that she has started. When I read about The Vision Project and heard about it on Woking radio, I knew that I had to be a part of it.
I wanted a change in my life, as I know that life is what you make it, and I didn’t want to stand still and be an observer anymore. I really want to enjoy life and make memories.
First Dance Studio has an ‘All are Welcome’ ethos and it has always been a positive experience to be a part of the FDS family, challenging and exciting at the same time. It good to belong and share time with people who want to be active and it has a positive effect on your wellbeing.
2. What has the painting part been like and what did you learn from it?
The Water colour project was undertaken in such a nurturing environment. (like singing with the choir and dancing, learning to paint was always something that I and wanted to do but never got around too).The setting was beautiful, as soon as I drove into the grounds, I felt peaceful.
Jo Alam gave me a big hug and I felt so welcome. She knew how to encourage us and push us out of our comfort zones at the same time. I produced 4 paintings in one day and I am so proud of the journey taken during that weekend.
It was a special weekend where everyone was supporting each other and sharing our knowledge. It wasn’t just learning how to painting beautiful pictures and techniques, it was also a bonding experience with the other participants.
The second day we worked together as a team to create a collage to reflect the words, feelings and imagery created when listening to the beautiful song created for the project. We had so much fun, for me it was a time to let go of feelings and emotions that I had held on to, which was holding me back from moving forward with living my life. I felt accepted by the others and I truly felt like I belonged to this tribe of amazingly talented people.
I definitely feel a positive change is within my reach, since taking part in the art project. I feel proud to be me.
3. Part of the Vision project is also the dance - we watched it at the show but now you are taking part in the community dance section that will be filmed. What made you want to get involved and how have you found it?
I love to dance, it makes me feel so happy, my soul sings. Emma is such a brilliant choreographer and is able to get all abilities dancing to a piece of music and looking amazing, whilst doing so. The song that we are dancing to, is such an expression of the joy of dance and it is a fitting piece of music to reflect the feeling of recovering from lockdown and an awareness of looking after ourselves through social activities.
Plus, I get to spend some time with my new tribe. It can take me a while to learn routines, I am still learning what is a good way for me to memorise routines, but I know that I can always go to Emma or others for support.
4. Apart from the creative side of things - what else do you get involved in?
If it were possible I would love to take part in every class that First Dance Studios have! But in the real world, I take part in the choir, musical theatre, and have recently started Zumba, which is like being in a Brazilian carnival. I also love the ballet and tap classes.
5. And a few little nightingales have told me about you using some of the painting techniques in class - please tell us about that?
I teach reception children, that are 4/5 years old and Jo Alam demonstrated a great technique of how to produce a painting of a tree using power paint and a water spray bottle. The children loved the activity, they created beautiful paintings, the Deputy head couldn’t believe that reception children had created the paintings.
6. Sounds amazing, we all love this ripple effect and how this workshop and dance has led to real change - what will you take away from the Vision Project?
The Vision Project will always be the place, where I finally began to feel like myself again. I felt accepted, good enough and that I had found kindred spirits. It’s just like the Art created for and by it. Nightingales singing on the branches of my heart.
It has been transitional, I feel like a phoenix rising up from the ashes. I know that I have challenges ahead that will test me, but I also have a space to breathe and grow. A happy place.
7. What would you say to anyone thinking of taking part?
To anyone thinking of giving the workshops a go, just go along with no expectations, prepare to challenge yourself and make some new friends and create some beautiful, unique art.
Thank you so much, such a wonderful summary of your experiences. It has been such a joy to have you involved.