Last month I had the joy of leading a couple of workshops at the local community centre! The aim was to build towards creating a collaborative mural for the outside of the building, working with people who live locally and come and use the centre. The first workshop was with a group of women who usually attend a weekly ESOL class (English as a Second Language), and another was with an afterschool club of around 25 primary school kids! By the different nature of the groups, the sessions themselves were structured pretty differently, but both were centred around exploring key values of Fern Street itself: a place where people can LEARN, GROW, PLAY, SHARE, and be TOGETHER. :) It was really wonderful watching the workshop attendees begin to express themselves and figure out what these words could mean visually.
Especially with the kids session, I tried to make it as practical and fun as possible, and we made pictures with our bodies, worked in groups to try and guess and explain the key words, as well as drawing with pens and pencils on big sheets of paper together to gather ideas.
From the big idea papers, we then pulled out elements that could inspire our collabroative mural, which we’d work on at the Fun Day, where everyone would be invited to decorate a 15x15 cm ceramic tile in celebration of the centre. Everyone was pretty excited about creating their tile; their contribution to the overall big celebratory picture! Just like Fern Street itself, all the different elements, patterns, expressions and ideas would be needed to make something big, beautiful, and full of meaning.