Project Aims: August 2013
STEAM aims to highlight the relationship between artists’ personal practice and facilitation work.
STEAM aims to promote and raise awareness of the nature of facilitation work and its value as an artistic activity.
STEAM aims to promote inclusive approaches to engage people with multiple needs, learning disabilities and/or mental health issues in visual art processes.
After the Colebrook Chronicles in 2008, Nickova Behling collaborated with artist and support worker Sue Sargeant for the projects ‘Exploration’ in 2009 and ‘Phase 2 of Exploration’ Sep 2011 – Oct 2012. Both projects were largely funded through the Arts Council Lottery Fund.
Building on the experience of ‘Phase 2 of Exploration’, Nickova was joined by visual artist Mike Corlett, and together they forged a connection with James Hockey & Foyer Galleries, UCA Farnham (UCA Farnham Gallery) to develop the project STEAM.
STEAM installed a public exhibition at the University of Creative Arts, and a private view inviting students and teachers to attend an inclusive opening celebration. The attendees at the private view included the exhibiting artists, the exhibiting participants, their family, friends and carers, the gallery staff, volunteers and local residents. The work of artists and participants that was exhibited, served to demonstrate the possible outcomes of facilitation and collaboration and celebrate the relationship and mutual influence on creative practice, This was also explained and discussed in a public evening seminar and was attended by workshop participants and artists who were interested in working inclusively in the community.
STEAM offered inclusive drop-in community workshops with additional invited participants from Colebrook Day Services, Redhill and Grace Eyre in Brighton. Participants of the workshops included people with learning disabilities and mental health issues who worked together with non–disabled people of diverse artistic experience and age (8 – 68 years). The resulting collaborative prints created during the STEAM workshops were also shown for the remaining weeks of the exhibition.
STEAM has examined the significance of this type of facilitation work, viewing it as an expression of the creativity of both facilitators/artists and participants. In particular the project explored the idea of a creative dialogue, in which a mutual influence is exerted between facilitator and participant, shaping the creative process of each. The exhibition and overall project emphasised the value of process as an expression of creativity in itself, than simply the means to an end.
View our documentation photos here