Creating Art Creating Magic

In this guest post Eiffion Ashdown looks back at his work in Brighton Museum with his fellow Museum Mentors, including a display of his personal collection of bulldog pieces.

Creating Art Creating Magic

Hi there readers of this blog. I hope you’re all good and safe.  I’m guessing many of you know the museum with its beautiful buildings, its amazing pieces and of course the wonderful staff that keep the museum wheels churning. I wonder how many out there have visited what is a beautiful building full of history wonder and solace in a peaceful setting.

I’m writing this as someone whom experienced the Museum Mentors summer project and of course a client of the art group the museum offers to those with either or both mental / physical struggles. I say of course as I have my own website and following and I’m open about my issues to help fight stigma.

Creating Magic

Let’s start with the latter and I’ll explain the title meaning. There was not a magic act at the exhibition and I mean no offence to anyone when I say it wasn’t till the 11th hour that anyone knew for definite when and where the exhibition was going to take place. When you see the work my fellow clients had created in the time given you’ll be fooled into thinking some sort of magic was used.

The Thursday and Friday groups did theoretically pull a rabbit from the hat with the help of the museum mentors staff and we were so lucky we were to get two curators taking time out of very busy schedules to help set up, putting up the pieces finding out facts, and doing computer and paperwork are just a few things we were privileged with.

Creating Art

Now, I’ve said on my site  profile, wherever I can admit it ‘I’m not very good at art’. I see what is in front of me as childish so I try to stay away from conventional art whilst attending group and my needs are graciously met as I explore other skill sets. Don’t get me wrong I have done lots of art in the past but in the last year or so I’ve been trying to sort out my own blog and website.

I will not embarrass my fellow clients and use any names and I’m hoping once I pass this on to be used it will be published with art from what are truly talented gentle souls and when I walk into group now I’m not surprised if I have to pick my jaw of the floor whilst getting to a table where the talent is top notch.

Art by Museum Mentors

Wow look what we created

The open day for our exhibition / display project was a time to share our work with each other and the staff and see what the whole installation looked like finished. The Pavilion was a favourite theme but other great works were created too. I displayed my bulldogs from my collection and I up-cycled a few pieces in art group so that it all tied in.

Bulldog display in Museum Lab, 2017

Each and every member that took part should take away immense pride. The pieces that were up on display were made with time commitment and for some I think thrive as they enjoy the creations that are first a thought and when finished marvels, and wonder at a real sense of accomplishment, and hopefully for all to muse and reflect on.

Quick Thank You

3D printed bulldog replicas by University of Brighton

Before I continue I’d like to say my own thank you to those at Brighton Museum. At one of my lowest points a member of the Museum Mentors intervened and I’m now still here thanks to the skill set possessed in noticing my trauma and setting the right cogs in motion. I’d like to say thank you for my portion of the project (my bulldogs from the collection as part of the installation) and continued help regarding my venture. And lastly thank you for giving my website a link to yours I really felt I’d made it somewhere when that was agreed. THANK YOU ALL……

Lastly

I think it’s only right and proper that as I’m articulate enough to brief blog about the event I can say without hesitation on behalf of the group I work alongside a ‘massive thank’ you to Brighton Museum, the Museum Mentors staff, and the staff behind the scenes that sit in the offices doing all the bits and bobs that allow projects like this to be created, so from admin to the museum security that keep us all safe, the group is united in showing gratitude and saying a genuine thank you.

The museum ethos on mental health is a working module with all involved learning as we g,o from clients bothering to turn up because they want to, through to the staff having a dignified understanding of clients’ needs and issues. Brighton Museum is showing there’s always room to improve with any issues should they arise and should be praised for the projects they do, and we the art group are just one small part of so many projects events and special occasions that the museum and Pavilion are involved with, so keep popping back to the museum website to see what’s new and if you’re ever in town it’s a great place to visit — I mean beautiful history in object form and warm smiles who wouldn’t.

Eiffion Ashdown, Blogger