Helping others to unlock their own creative journeys…
Bringing people with learning disabilities together and being involved with their communities is an important part of breaking down barriers. As part of Learning Disability Week, Andy talks about this in more detail…
“I have always had a passion for art and creativity and have loved TV artist Tony Hart’s DIY approach to this. It was basically through watching stuff like Tony Hart and Morph, and then actually saying: “Okay, he is doing that, maybe I could have a go myself”.
Creative Journeys is a project between Certitude’s Community Development Team and myself. The team had been running art courses for people with learning disabilities but wanted opportunities to use art to develop a community. This is when I came in. I believe art is a process where we can all learn from each other.
Creative Journeys is about unlocking skills and building confidence. It’s learning about each other through sharing and creating art together. Coming to the art gallery is important but even more so is the focus on friendship and having a cup of tea.
A great moment was when Creative Journeys won the Third Sector Care Awards for Creative Arts last December. This along with building strong relationships with galleries will help grow the project. Our plan is to give people a chance to make art in a studio space rather than using the gallery space.
My art helps others to unlock their own creative journeys. People think “Andy understands how the arts can bring people together”. When people tell me they can’t draw, I give them other tools – tin foil, string and use collage as a way of making a mark. I like to use materials in a personalised way. Art should be fun. I still can’t believe how lucky I am to be able use art to influence people creatively.
I am still on my creative journey. It’s not only about making connections between people but helping to get rid of labels and breaking barriers.”
Andy hosts inclusive art workshops and gallery visits for people who share an interest in art.