Trailblazers (2020) on display in the window of the Education Centre at Walmer Castle in Kent

Start With Art

Launched in Summer 2018, Start With Art are community focused artist-led workshops dedicated to exploring self-expression through creative making. Start With Art workshops are project-based and can be run in partnership with community initiatives, refugee charities, wellness centres and education providers throughout Southeast Kent.

About Start With Art workshops…

The workshops are fun and accessible. They are project-based and are run as multiple sessions. No previous experience or knowledge of art is required. The workshops offer the opportunity to:

  • Take time out from the demands of daily life and focus on wellbeing and self-expression through creativity.
  • Learn new skills and make discoveries through experimenting with found materials and a range of art making processes.
  • Develop communal knowledge through sharing experiences, insights and learning.
  • Gain insight into the studio practice of a visual artist.

The workshops explore free self-expression through material engagement with painting. Each project is individually designed to meet the needs of participants and enable individuals to find their creative voice. The emphasis in all activities is on taking a positive outlook and a reflective approach, and having fun and relaxing.

About the artist…

I am a visual artist based in Kent; I have a PGCE in Further Education (Art and Design) and since graduating from the Slade School of Fine Art with a Masters degree I have exhibited in Germany and the UK. Utilising a diaristic and meditative approach, and focusing on painting, I work with direct hands-on processes to produce abstract works.

For my first participatory art making project I worked with the charity Migrant Help, and a series of collaborative workshops with survivors of modern day slavery and human trafficking led to the creation of the artwork Lilacs In Bloom.

In 2020, I ran Trailblazers, at Walmer Castle working with young people supported by KRAN (Kent Refugee Action Network). This project was supported by National Lottery Heritage Funding and National Lottery Arts Council England Funding and formed part of English Heritage’s Re-Discovering Walmer’s Lost Pleasure Grounds Project.

In July 2021, I concluded an Arts Council England funded research and development project called The Liberating Gesture. The grant funded research into a new participatory artmaking project working with Slovak and Czech Roma women living in Kent, and six months professional development focusing on painting with the support of a Turps Correspondence Course  mentor.

The title and focus of the research project was inspired by Etel Adnan’s words: “I love the pleasure of painting and why shouldn’t I be happy… the act of making art is happy. It is a liberating gesture.”

In 2022, I created and ran community outreach project called Nice To Meet You / Som Rado Hoij Tumen Spindzardom. For this project I worked with Czech and Slovak Roma women living in Dover. The project was carried out in partnership with Turner Contemporary, Samphire and Counterpoints Arts. It was supported by Arts Council England National Lottery Project Funding and a grant from Counterpoints Arts. We collaborated over a series of workshops to create artworks that were exhibited at Turner Contemporary. 

Further Information and Making A Booking

If you are an education setting, refugee charity, local authority, arts or youth-work organisation seeking to set up an artist-run workshop or project, get in touch.