by Alison McGann, Visual Arts Facilitator
‘Age is strictly a case of mind over matter. If you don’t mind it doesn’t matter.’ Mark Twain
Over a three month period I worked with two groups of V2C residents at Llys Cynffig, Pyle and Llys Ton, Kenfig Hill. The workshops (an introduction to arts techniques) were part of a 8 week pilot project which gave the residents the opportunity to see if they would enjoy spending some time being creative through the medium of arts and crafts.
Over the following weeks, while taking photographs working with watercolour paints, creating photomontages, making pieces from clay, it became obvious that painting was a favourite. Some people started buying their own materials and continuing through the week – with their new found hobby – in their own time. They moved onto acrylic paints and canvases, and water-colour paints were being handed down to grandchildren in preference for what they felt were the superior acrylics.
When the eight weeks had passed, the groups were really enthusiastic about keeping the sessions going. Even happy to pay themselves towards the cost, if it made the difference between the arts workshops continuing or not. Thanks to Anna Evans arranging extra funding from Bridgend County Borough Council and a donation from the tenants themselves we were able to continue for a further six weeks.
Since then we have managed to keep the sessions going even though it is now down to once a month, while we look into further funding. During this period the groups have flourished, Llys Cynfig meet up every week in-between sessions. Llys Ton residents work within their own rooms and bring their new pieces to the group when they get together for the workshops (If they haven’t already been snapped up by family and friends!!). One of the residents has started a course through the U3A on The History of Art in Spain.
‘Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old’ Franz Kafka