We run workshops around the theme of balance, considering and exploring points of balance in our lives and going on to make mobiles with a range of materials.
Juliet leads on the workshops and has carried them out with a range of participants, from school groups alongside larger scale commissions, to family and children’s refugee and asylum seeker groups and community cafes. Juliet has carried out workshops in connection with:
- All Saints Primary School, Ilkley
- Moorfield School, Ilkley
- Cramlington High, Northumberland
- Bevan Healthcare, Bradford
- Wharfedale Refugee Response, Ilkley
- Skipton Women’s Refugee Group
- Outside the Box Cafe, Ilkley
- Refugee Action
- Dovetailing Responses (poetry with Ian Duhig in response to Dovetailing)
“We really loved having you here, the energy in the room was wonderful. So peaceful and focussed. We are getting some fab feedback from patients and staff (about the installation we all made together in the workshop), which is fantastic. It really does look wonderful. The colours are so vibrant and I love the way it gently sways with the traffic in and out of the reception area.
We are looking forward to working with you again.”
Manager, Wellbeing Centre, Bevan Healthcare, Bradford
Workshop at Ilkley Grammar School with Wharfedale Refugee Response
We ran a mobile making workshop on Saturday 1 October 2022 at Ilkley Grammar School. The day was organised by Wharfedale Refugee Response in partnership with Refugee Action and involved some of the group going orienteering on Ilkley Moor in the morning whilst the others chose from two art workshops – and then the groups swapped around in the afternoon. We welcomed 60 people who are currently living in Bradford and who are supported by Refugee Action from countries including Nigeria, Sudan, El Salvador, Iran, and Iranian Kurdistan.
The activity which I ran for the art workshop was ‘borrowed’ from an inspiring exhibition at Modern Art Oxford which we saw this summer. ‘Citizen of the Universe’ explored the work and life of Ruth Asawa, visionary artist, educator, and activist (b. 1926, Norwalk, CA – d. 2013, San Francisco, CA). The exhibition featured her signature hanging sculptures in looped and tied wire, and celebrated her holistic integration of art, education, and community engagement.
For Ruth Asawa, teaching art and learning together were vital activities for dynamically engaging with life, and she made a lifelong commitment to professional art making as a transformative activity for individuals, in education and in the lives of communities. The activity we used for our own workshop which was borrowed from the exhibition – Great Circle – involved taking 4 paper plates and making a strong and sturdy three-dimensional structure. It is a surprisingly satisfying activity, turning some flat and unexciting 2d forms into something which is 3d, complex, and tactile.
This workshop, more than any other I have run, seemed to open avenues for imagination and exploration. The works created became protest, a visualisation of a relationship, or a way of playing with new kinds of mark-making.
Mobile making workshop at Bevan Healthcare, Bradford
This was a family workshop at Bevan Healthcare in Bradford in 2019. We made meteor style mobiles and installed all the finished works in the waiting room of the GPs as an installation called ‘Meteor Shower’.
Clare Dearnaley made a short film about the workshop as part of a series of short films about making.
Mobiles and drawing day, Refugee Action
Hosted by Ilkley Grammar School, Wharfedale Refugee Response organised with Refugee Action for a day of art for a number for families from Bradford and Ilkley. Making mobiles was one of the activities.
‘Playing with Balance’
We ran a mobile making workshop with refugee and asylum seeking families at the Quaker Meeting House, Ilkley.
Images taken by Clare Dearnaley. Please scroll down to see them all.
A recent article in the Ilkley Gazette about the day trips for refugee and asylum seeking families from Bradford can be read here.
A series of workshops at Cramlington Learning Village
I ran a series of workshops with pupils at Cramlington Learning Village to explore the balance and harmony of mobiles and consider how the individual pieces of a mobile interact. The children began the process with their own drawings and reflections on the life and characteristics of their favourite birds. We explored the process of abstracting shapes from our drawings and all creating our own mobiles. This work with the children formed the basis for the design of the final piece which is installed in the trauma hospital in Cramlington, The Northumbria Specialist Emergency Healthcare Hospital.
Using the children’s work as a starting point, we created fourteen individual elements in wood of which four were selected in creating the final small scale mobile. We then collaborated with a metal fabricator (Artfabs) to scale up the model to 5m high by 4m wide in aluminium and stainless steel. Short films of the installation and the final sculpture can be seen on the Murmuration of Starlings page.
‘Playing with balance’ – workshop at Bevan Healthcare
We recently delivered a half-day workshop for around 30 people at Bevan Healthcare in Bradford.
Participants were asylum seekers who had been invited by Refugee Action.
We considered the concept of balance and went on to make mobiles based on the theme of the sky.
Photography by Clare Dearnaley