Creative Response

Layered fabric over lightbox

How can working with themes of portraiture remotely help to create meaningful connections between materials, participants, and spaces?

For my arts research project I worked with a group of young adults with learning disabilities from Downs View Life Skills College, Brighton.

Due to the Coronavirus pandemic these workshops were delivered online, my creative response focuses on the experience of the remote connection through screens and how this impacted on making meaningful connections with materials, participants, and spaces.

The challenges of delivering the workshops remotely provided an unexpected yet inherent richness of experience. Rather than presenting an obstacle, the technology quickly evolved into an assistant and a collaborator. The multi-layered nature of using a variety of screen-based devices created distortions and provided layers of separation, to unravel and unpick.

I began thinking about balance, harmony, pattern, rhythm, and unity: the elements and principles of design. Might these also be the elements and principles of successful Inclusive arts practice? Alternate moments of clarity occurred, and times when it became part of the creative practice to incorporate inharmonious, unbalanced, or non-unified elements. To explore how these disruptions in the process could be harnessed visually.

Having moved away from figurative portraiture for my creative response, themes of presence, connection and ‘Incidental portraiture’ continued to surface and were explored. So, I invite you to immerse yourself in the short film. Watch the materials interact and consider them as ‘characters in conversation’ the forms of which can also elicit instances of incidental portraiture.

View the online exhibition here…