Govanhill voice dropped by MILK café, Victoria road to speak to Geraldine Russell about her integrational art workshops. Which run on a Tuesday night 6 to 8pm and exhibition at the end of April.
Where and what did you study?
I studied at Grays School of Art in Aberdeen, graduating last year with a degree in Three dimensional design. My specialism was in Ceramics and I also have a background in Textiles so my work encompasses both mediums. My art work has always had a personal narrative and I tend to explore themes and issues that affect me both directly and indirectly. My current work follows on from my Degree project which focused on the importance of human connection to Mental Health. Through experimenting with materials and processes, I created a concept range of sensory jewellery that encouraged interaction between the wearer and the viewer. I experiment a lot in my work with unusual materials and processes. I have been developing ideas working with Jesmonite, clay and Fabric.
My portfolio online – http://dropr.com/grussell
My website – http://geraldinerussell15.wix.com/mysite
Examples of wearable sculpture Geraldine has produced.
Who are the workshops aimed at? What is your goal etc.?
The Art workshops are aimed at women of all ages and backgrounds who enjoy Art or would like to try something new and meet others in a supportive environment.
My main goals for the workshops are to give women living within Govanhill and the Southside an opportunity to meet others, learn art skills regardless of creative ability and feel they are part of a creative community without the usual barriers such as ability, poverty and health. Through my own experience moving to a new area and meeting new people can be extremely difficult and being isolated and alone is a horrible feeling that affects wellbeing. For my undergraduate dissertation I researched the effects on mental health by being creative in a supportive group environment and I organised a lot of creative workshops in my university which created a community environment which I realised I was lacking.
What inspired you to get involved with community driven arts in Govanhill?
I moved to Govanhill in August last year when I came back to Glasgow after University. I knew when I graduated I wanted to work within Community Arts and when I moved to Govanhill I found that it has such a rich cultural art community, I wanted to be a part it . I started volunteering with the Rags to Riches project at the Govanhill Baths and was recently part of the ’I am Govanhill project’. I have gotten the chance to meet so many lovely people while working and volunteering at the Baths, it’s got a great community environment.
There is going to be an exhibit of work inspired by the workshops? Can you tell us a bit about that?
The six foot gallery has given me a fantastic opportunity to highlight the work that Milk café is doing and also showcase my new collection of work ‘Gathered’ which is inspired by the workshops and the participants. The exhibition will run from the 28th April until the 12th May with the opening night on the Thursday 28th April at 7pm and everyone is welcome to attend.
The exhibition within the Six Foot Gallery will provide a contextual setting in which to open up a dialogue, looking at Art and Craft within a wider social context and discussing how it can be
restorative to both individuals and communities. (Six Foot Gallery, Pentagon Centre, 36 Washington Street, G3 8AZ. http://sixfootgallery.com Exhibition runs from April 28th – May 12th.)