Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Half term stuff

During half term I visited Birmingham City University and delivered a couple of lectures to undergraduate and post graduate students studying at The School of Jewellery and in Textiles at Birmingham Institute of Art & Design. The lectures focussed on being self employed/freelance/working for yourself, what ever it is called it amounts to the same thing. To begin with I asked the students to think about well known, successful individuals who were self employed. They suggested Alan Sugar, Richard Branson, Bill Gates etc. Then I asked them to think about what characteristics they had that contributed to them being successful. They suggested: Hard working, determined, focussed, motivated, ambitious etc etc. We went on to look at young entrepreneurs working in the Creative Industries, the website gives some great profiles and all of the students found this part of the lectures really inspiring. I went on to talk to them about getting advice, registering self employed, generating work, opportunities, work space and using my artist residency as a case study looking at the kind of work they might expect to be involved in when they work freelance.
The feedback from the students was really positive and included: The best part of the talk was " talking to someone who has been through it" and something I have learned here is: "to continue with my ambitions and thoughts, work hard and network". Afterwards, 4 students came forward to volunteer to work with me to install the exhibition and oversee some craft activities at the sharing event when the exhibition opens to the public.
It was a privilige to work with them, their ideas, hopes and dreams are inspiring. I wish them every success and feel optimistic for them.

By 3rd March I was back with the community groups at Frankley Library. The work has progressed and they are creating more complex fascinators using millinery materials.

Some of the group have finished their fascinators and are planning to work on corsages and textile jewellery over the next 2 weeks. We had a discussion about how you feel when you wear a fascinator, hat or head decoration and Louise said: " A million dollars, like I could do anything" There has also been a lot of discussion around what else to wear and do when you get dressed up such as: having a make over, hair styling, clothes and having photographs taken. The community group generally felt that it would be a good idea to include some of these things at the sharing event to open the exhibition. We have decided to include a make up artist, mendhi artist and I have approached Bournville College of Further Education to see if their student hair stylists would like to take part in the event. They are really keen and very excited abouy this so we will have 4 or 5 student hair stylists to help with the make overs for the community group. it is going to be a really good event, I have arranged for a photographer and Prudence is working with me on all of the planning and organisation for the exhibition as well as finalising ideas for the making activities that will also be going on at the same time.

Monday March 7th was a really good day. I had arranged a sharing event for Year 7 & 8 students from Frankley Community High School. The children were invited to bring a parent along to take part in some making activities based around head decorations and accessories. We made fascinator bands and decorative ties.  The chidren said: " making hair bands was good", " doing art and working with parents was good" and " sewing was difficult".  Everyone worked hard and did not stop for a break we all really enjoyed ourselves.

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