Lucy Wheeler, Learning and Engagement Officer
For the past ten weeks I have been working with a group of young people from the Foyer, Cambridge as part of Circuit – a programme connecting 15-25 year olds with artistic activity at Kettle’s Yard and Wysing Arts Centre. Every Thursday we have taken part in creative workshops with artist David Kefford, where we have explored a variety of different creative practices, including painting, drawing, lino-cuts and photography.
Highlights of the sessions have included museum objects coming into the Foyer, including specimens from the Zoology museum, which the participants sketched. Abi, one of the participants, said the following of the workshop:
‘I really enjoyed this session because I’ve always loved pre-historic stuff – like dinosaurs. I love their teeth, how they are shaped.’
We also took a trip to Kettle’s Yard, where participants were given an introduction to the house and explored the spaces through photography. Nick, one of the group, reflected on the trip as follows:
‘I can’t put the experience of Kettle’s Yard down to one word. It’s full of surprises. The shadows are really interesting and it’s the first time I have seen those Chinese plates.’
Michael, another group member, added: ‘I really like the different styles of art. The House is cool! My favourite object was the spiral of stones, I really liked the circular pattern.’
The group have also grown in confidence to lead aspects of the sessions themselves. Nick and Gus both wanted to work together to create a collaborative drawing that the whole group could participate in. They planned the materials needed for the session and gave us all an introduction to the workshop – and then we all worked together, instructed when needed by Gus and Nick. Nick said the following of the beautiful outcome from the session: ‘The impulsiveness was great – I thought it was going to be a mess, or look quite mundane, but it was a lot better than I expected.’
David and I have been incredibly impressed by the diversity of the work produced in these sessions. The group has also developed to be a really sociable, lively, creative space where the young people have gained confidence in their artistic skills, to the point of helping to lead sessions themselves.
To find out more about Circuit, please email Tahira Fitzwilliam Hall.