Celebrating Decorating was a six week project between service users and support workers from Westminster Learning Disability Partnership and artist Davina Drummond that took place at the ICA, Spring 2009.
Westminster Learning Disability Partnership adopts innovative approaches to providing services for people with learning disabilities and their family carers. Meeting once a week at the ICA Reading Room, the group was encouraged to explore the aesthetics of celebration and to investigate our choices of what we celebrate through a series of workshops.
Workshops were lead as practical sessions centralised around various aspects of celebrating: flowers, wrapping paper, ribbons and balloons. Participants were then given a selection of materials with which they could respond to; creating opportunities to learn from one another while enjoying the creative environment of the ICA.
“It was a great opportunity to be able to work with an artist taking part in new and interesting workshops. It was also a very welcome opportunity to be able to access the ICA gallery, as there are very few places in the community that cater to activities for adults with learning difficulties. The service users who attended this project clearly enjoyed the tasks they took part in. They also benefited from the social aspect of meeting new people and interacting with those involved in the project.”
Natalie Arif, Support Worker
Westminster Learning Disability Partnership
The participants were invited to create flower balls with a range of bright colored flowers and different size oasis balls. Everyone then took their new creations to be displayed outside the ICA, on ribbon, in the park; decorating the surroundings as a symbol of celebration.
During week two, the group were invited to take a stroll through St James’ Park and photograph things they liked and they thought should be celebrated.
The images were then projected on the walls of the Reading Room as well as printed out and the participants were then invited to draw or trace their photographs.
Using black and white print outs of drawings and photographs produced during the previous week’s workshop, the group were invited to make their own wrapping paper, using collage as a technique on vibrant coloured paper.
The group created their own decorative ribbon, tracing cut-outs of images they had previously selected. They then went outdoors with their new creations to make large bows and decorate unusual things of their choice including trees, lamp posts and all sorts of other things.
Each participant made a series of messages/ drawings on mini greeting cards. They then rolled them up and tied them like mini scrolls which they then each placed inside individual balloons. The secret balloon greetings were then taken outside and released for a lucky stranger to receive and discover.
A selection of images and work produced during the previous five weeks were used by the group to produce collaborative collages which were used to design a sheet of wrapping paper.
Download the Celebrating Decorating wrapping paper at the bottom of this page.