2015 - 2018
Fabrica has been commissioned by Brighton & Hove City Council to facilitate creative activities with residents at five local seniors housing schemes in Mouslecoomb, Kemp Town and Withdean.
Lead artist in residence Helen Goodwin has been running the group and/or one-to-one sessions in each of the schemes, and has worked with participants to decide on the nature and direction of the artistic sessions. With support from Fabrica Volunteers Vanessa Freeman and Eve Turner-Lee, the workshops usually involve a lot of chat, food and hands-on activity.
The workshops held were flexible and either had a specified outcome or didn’t, which allowed for them to lead to something fully different that would not be art based as well such as trips and gardening activities. The project included a decorative outcome in each scheme, but the nature of this was flexible. The residents did weaving, worked with clay, drew, knitted, did printmaking, painting and others with unbelievable results. Towards the end people were encouraged to decide on a way to present their work with support from the volunteers, such as an exhibition, or an installation in the residence.
From learning new skills to discovering new creative outlets, the residents and staff have also found that art can bring people together and create new social opportunities.
On the last session a couple of residents asked whether they could continue the lessons themselves, and Helen provided support with this.
"We really enjoyed the session last week! I think the social cohesion offered by this project is even more valuable than the art we may produce and I think we’ll work towards bolstering the flagging Social Club at Somerset Point via the interest this project has attracted. Helen and Vanessa were really fantastic with the tenants and made the art very accessible to all by emphasising how broad a spectrum there is for creative activities"
Francesca Markland, BHCC Sheltered Housing Scheme Manager
“We all had a great time swapping stories and sharing skills: the group chose to work with clay and produced some amazing pieces which are now on display. Some residents just came along to watch and for the company while others brought their own activity to share, which was lovely and added so much to the sessions. We all had such fun that we are planning to continue at some more schemes working with new materials.” – Helen Goodwin, Lead Artist – Decorate Project (in reference to the Elwyn-Jones Court group)
Links to some of the projects: