#FAV18 – Finding a Voice

Exhibition and workshops

In short the exhibition is about parenting and mental health from the point of 4 different families, 4 stories. There are two workshops where I use my lived experience and creative practice alongside staff from Compass & The Benjamin Foundation.

–WORKSHOPS–

aimed at Norfolk & Suffolk Health, Social care & Education Practitioners.

Each workshops will begin with a short introduction and an opportunity to be present with the work in the exhibition. Then we will gather in the library room to discuss what came across in the work, unpicking how to cope with human struggle and remain connected and authentic within our professional roles, whilst remaining grounded and safe. The art work can be used to explore specific themes in areas over a spectrum of professional practice; domestic abuse, childhood trauma, attachment and recovery.  It is a place that offers rare insight into the client experience of different professional approaches. In my experience there can be stark parallels between two similar services, in how the service functions and responds to the client and the impact this has.

16th October •“What is it like to be involved with services”

Compass social worker Laura Miles and I discuss the two perspectives, professional and parent when having services involved with your family.

17th October •“Working with Domestic Abuse”   

Dr Nic Yeates and myself boldly and honestly explore  ideas of professional practice using the exhibition as a visual reference.

The workshops are available at 3 times on each day.

09:30-11:30 * 12:00-14:00 * 14:30-16:30

We are asking £5-£10 donation to raise funds for work done with The benjamin foundation. Please feel free to ask any questions and book a slot by emailing findingavoice@yahoo.com If you know any practitioners that would find these workshops valuable please pass on this.

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#FAV18 events page

FAV18 professionals Workshops Flyer PDF

#FAV18

FINDING A VOICE poster

FINDING A VOICE (1) creative workshop

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WHY LOVE OCTOBER?

During half term the show I have been planning all year will be on here in Norwich #FAV18 a small group show by some incredible women. The show comes at parenting and mental health in a very forward approach, this year we have focused on maternal and children’s mental health and the intricacy of this is powerfully represented. Alongside the show is a set of family art workshops and Practitioners seminars, including a The psychology of Domestic abuse and a service user experience seminar.

First up 1stOctober is Anti-Bullying Day, bullying at school, work or from a narcissist has a huge impact on a persons wellbeing and can be a stepping stone to different mental health struggles.  I have been a bully, a narcs flying monkey, I was bullied at various schools, older boys than girls my age. In our house, we pick apart bullying behaviour and wonder in what way that person is hurting, and discuss how what they are doing is shitty and how to avoid it or not engage. Finding ways to bolster self-esteem, and not let the bullies words be a script for your inner dialogue. Bullying can be incredibly powerful if your family culture has no emotional vocabulary which is where I was until about 3 years ago.

Emotional Intelligence Month & Dyslexia Month share October. which I find beautiful because I was bullied by my first school teachers getting called “slow coach” and “lazy bones” when age 7. Many schools later, in uni, I had full dyslexia diagnostic, turns out, I have a really poor working memory. I was stunned when asked to read a few short paragraphs and asked questions after each, how little I had retained.  One of the fun bits is writing back to front when typing and writing I’ll start a word with its last letter first. or sometimes I swap the first and last letters around and don’t even notice.

Before Dynoboy was born reading occasionally to my siblings was fine, reading out loud at  school filled me with dread, sweaty palms and racing pulse, unable to make sense of the word “the” it was uncomfortable for everyone when a temp teacher asked me to read aloud. However, Dynoboy loved books, as soon as he could sit up on his own he was all over them. Enjoying the interaction of being read to. The local libraries are brilliant in Norfolk, it’s there that I got over my inability to read aloud. The repetitive nature of young childrens needs meant I could read some with my eyes closed and did. There did hit a point years later when he learnt to be patient and kind, exhausted bedtime stories with smaller text and longer chapters, that sneaky word THE knotting my tongue again.

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In those times I wouldn’t have been able to describe how it felt or why reading to and with loved ones was important.  There was very little emotional intelligence radiating from the adults around me growing up. Difficult things where discussed by what someone had done to you, not how it or they made you feel.  Events and scripts where verbalised but never emotions. WHICH is really scary come to think about it. so glad I escaped that nightmare!

31st HALOWEEEEEEN! Halloween is like Christmas for me and my siblings, we get more excited and the house is more decorated, we do more things together than we do any other time of year. My theory on why it turned out this way is pretty dark. If I  feel up to it I’ll make a video telling a spooky story about a creepy little family that found happy in the strangest places.  #ThisIsHalloween most likely in my insta stories. @findingavoice

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Swede smells & smells the best!

 

Pain comes in waves.

I have anger, it is rarely seen or heard but it’s there and valid.

Often my anger comes from pain, it comes in waves. Just like watching the sea roll onto the shore, periodically there is a bigger wave that rolls in and if you’re not aware, you don’t know till you’re feet are wet.

I sit watching my life sometimes, I’m so greatful. Sometimes it’s shitty and unfair, but I can only control what I can control and I love how freeing that is.

I can’t hold an ocean.

I tried to hold a wave.

The only thing I can contain is myself and my babe.

That’s all, that’s enough.

Work in progress, oil on canvas, pretty big, 1×1.5m playing with layers.It will be finished by October because I want to put it in a pop up solo show.

‘Shedding the Light’ : Conference June 2018

‘Shedding the Light’ on Loneliness & Isolation. Lowestoft

Throughout this event we will be hearing from a range of speakers on the subject of loneliness and isolation, we know that mental health is made worse and can be caused by isolation. Including my self, giving a talk on my varied lived experience of loneliness, with my own brand of gritty and playful break out session too.

ON MY OWN!

I have once before spoken at a conference, I had my work to back me up, Making a pop up Exhibition from work from Finding a Voice 2017 I wasn’t speaking alone on stage either. READ further thepsychologist.bps.org.uk This time it’s just me and Im jumping in with two feet.

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Shot of the Pop up Exhibition of my work for the Creative Collaboration Conference

I could continue only exhibiting my work in an ordinary but vibrant standard exhibition format, it would be valid and worth while. However I found this voice, a way of speaking and making that playfully gets uncomfortable truths out in the open.

The concept of What Finding a Voice is… is tricky because of the raw nature of its content and my unwillingness to let it just be an art exhibition. Meshing together art and services in a gallery setting has its sticky points, but I honestly feel it is part of a dynamic way to make changes with in services is to shift stigma about  mental health, collaboration and perhaps about “stuffy artsy fartys” exhibitions.
To get the most out of FAV18 Im being bold and talking more. Exhilarating and exhausting but totally worth it.

Come join us on the Day

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Conference Tickets and info on Facebook and EventBrite linksfacebook.com/event or www.eventbrite.co.uk.tickets

Fri 22 June 2018

10:00 – 16:00 BST

Location

LOCATION

Waterlane Leisure Centre

Water Lane

Lowestoft

NR32 2NH