The Important Things at Pallant House Gallery
Rebecca Riou: My family
Pallant House Gallery is delighted to be showcasing a range of special and personal artworks in an exciting new studio exhibition, celebrating the success of The Important Things Project, a series of artistic workshops organised by Starburst Arts, a visual and performing arts initiative in Chichester for people with learning difficulties.
Workshop in progress
The aim of the ‘The Important Things’, which was supported and funded by The West Sussex Arts and Health Network, was to give adults with learning disabilities and other marginalised artists the opportunity to express the things that are important to them by participating in arts based workshops. With an emphasis on textiles, creative photography and digital manipulation to explore and develop thoughts and ideas, the project took shape in two series of ten collaborative workshops in the winter of 2010/11. Participants included members of Starburst Arts, The Chichester Outreach group, The Tea and Chat drop in group and The Apuldram Centre.
Cats by Trudy Beaven
The workshops were facilitated by Sally Christopher, Community Connector at Starburst Arts. Speaking of the meaning behind the project, she said “A lot of people with learning difficulties may not have a voice to express their thoughts and feelings. Through different creative processes we addressed the question of what is important to us, what we liked and didn’t like.”
Phillip Judd with his work entitled My Important Things.
Being able to exhibit these works in a gallery space was an important part of the project, as Sally explained; “Outside In’s reputation as supporting and promoting Inclusive Arts makes Pallant House Gallery the ideal place to celebrate the project.” Working alongside the gallery and visiting exhibitions also gave participants like Phillip Judd creative ideas, who, after seeing Tracey Emin’s work in the Contemporary Eye: Crossovers exhibition, was inspired to create his artwork ‘My Important Things’.
When participants were asked whether the project had changed anything for them, the response was hugely positive. Speaking of her new found skills, Emily Rickard, a member of The Outreach group, said ‘I can use different techniques and I’m now able to express myself on paper’, and Cathy Mills, who also attends The Outreach Group said ‘It’s given me the confidence to try new things’.
A lot of participants who took part in the project have asked to do more art-based workshops to develop the skills that they have learnt and to try more new things.One aspect of that they particularly enjoyed was the use of digital art, through image scanning, photoshop and image manipulation. There are therefore plans to develop this further in future workshops.
Me on my bike by Mark Minney
The Important Things’ is free to the public and runs from 29 November 2011 until 2 January 2012
Pallant House Gallery
9 North Pallant,