By Saima Kaur, Community Programmer
Last week a pile of notebooks arrived on my desk, each one brimming with notes, sketches, inserts and reflections on contemporary art.
These notebooks belong to students who have just completed the ten week ‘IN2 Contemporary Art’ course. It is aimed at adults who want to learn or reconnect with their interest in artistic practice, be it their own or that of contemporary artists
The course is ably run by our associate artist Chris Lewis Jones and my role is to ensure it’s all going smoothly, but I manage to sneak in some friendly tea making as an excuse to chat to the participants and get an insight into the workings of the course.
As a result, I’ve been privy to watching near strangers create striking artwork, have some heated discussions and even strike up unlikely friendships. I’ve seen previously reluctant participants create arresting artwork in ten minutes flat, marvelled at two generations working together to make work that deconstructs received perceptions of gender and listened carefully to the lone voice lamenting the invisibility of class politics in current cultural discourse. Each course produces artistic expressions that are diverse, personal and sometimes strangely moving.
I feel we’re lucky to have such people work with us and am gearing up for my next round of tea lady duties!