Such an enjoyable workshop with mostly men with early memory loss at Westlake Hills yesterday. It was third time successful after two sessions with teething troubles on Tuesday and Wednesday. Although Theresa from Mobile Art has been marvellous, it’s hard to work with unfamiliar equipment, materials and places. However, I think now we’ve cracked it. The men at Westlake were mostly retired professionals and clearly dignified and senior gents. They joined in the printing with such gentle and bantering enthusiasm, laughing and joking with each other and expressing thrill at the work they made. Here was a real intelligence at work, somehow perhaps translated by the disability of memory loss into something uniquely human. They had a compassion for each other and for what we brought to them through the activity. Although they were all elder, experienced men of the world they were able to join in without embarrassment or self censorship. I feel that this is something that can be revealed in the early stages of memory loss – an opening of the personality that is warm and gentle. Of course, this is not true for everyone and it dims as the disease progresses. And considerable resources need to be applied to support a safe and nurturing environment where it’s possible.
At Flatbed again today to meet with Katherine and plan out a schedule for work. I start proper on Monday when I’ll be introduced to the paper, ink, press etc, etc that I am to use. It is daunting to launch into something new in a new place but great to be pushed out of my comfort zone but actually, I can’t wait now to get my fingers inky. And I know that it’s only through starting that I’ll find my way.
Katherine mixes ink for 3 plate colour etching
Discussing proofs in the studio.