Taking Care with Art

Kerry-Fleur Schleifer studied at Parsons School of Design in New York, and currently lives in London as an artist, musician and holistic healer. She is a regular attendee of Certitude’s Creative Journey Gallery Group visits, organised and lead by artist Andy Kee with the support of creative mentor, Vaia Paziana and Community Development Manager, Jake Meyer.

I was immediately attracted to the Gallery Groups through Jake’s vision of fusing the art and care worlds. Since these are both passions of mine and I consider them to be two sides of the same coin, I was drawn in.

I have found the Gallery Groups an encouraging way to keep in touch with contemporary art in a light and unconventional way.

The viewing experience is alongside people with highly unique minds – especially those with learning disabilities, whose perspectives are particularly pure due to lack of social molding – and I find this invaluable.

Part of the Gallery Group is witnessing modern art, and the buildings that hold it, through the unique vision of Andy Kee, whose ‘Creative Journeys’ talks take us to the far corners of relevant, yet unusual, information about the paintings, as well as the historic buildings that house them. A recent gallery visit was to Somerset House, where the Terrace Rooms were showing ‘Venturing Beyond’ by eighteen global street artists.

In this exhibition, a comical, florescent pop-up drawing is juxtaposed upon floors with their own historic story. I found this very satisfying to witness as part of one visual package.  I felt that Andy’s unique observations and attention to historic detail allowed the artist’s work to voice a more vivid identity as it emerged out of the patterned wood floor that, in turn, held its own integrity.

Silently observing the other participants in the group, responding to the art, expanded my appreciation of the uniqueness each of us has and, especially, the significant role a person with learning disabilities has.

I believe this is a highly beneficial doorway to appreciating the minds of those fellow humans who are not fully understood by our society as it is set up today.

Andy’s unexpected and enthusiastic perspective provided much-needed grounding to what I often experience as a feeling of dislocation, created by new works of art. The knowledge that the Terrace Rooms of Somerset House once housed tax workers and postal services helped create a sense of placement for the sometimes radical world of contemporary art. This allowed me to witness the gift of the present day with more fascination and believability.

Would you like to join our Gallery Group visits? Contact JMeyer@certitude.org.uk for more information on how to get involved.

Kerry and Andy on a recent Creative Journey Gallery Tour to Somerset House