Thursday, 21 August 2014

Lemonpop Workshops : @ Portsea Venture, Portsmouth

Ghostdavandal Originals presents Lemonpop Workshops : Customise Ur Life 
Portsea Venture, Portsmouth
21st August & 22nd August 2014 

2014 was an amazing year for our team. We had a fantastic summer as we launched our "Summer Programme" and delivered creative workshops to youths in clubs and societies across the country.  Amongst Youth offending programmes, Cultural awareness, community festivals and simple custom made fun we engaged with a lot of enthusiastic young people full of energy and as inquisitive as ever..our highlight of the summer has to be the workshops delivered in Portsmouth at Portsea Venture.

We were invited to Portsea Venture in Portsmouth to deliver customisation workshops with the staff and young people that attend the children's centre. Portsea Venture is one of Portsmouth City Council's six free, exciting adventure playgrounds and is a world of opportunity for children.  We found this place extraordinary as young people can whizz along zip lines, cool off in splash pools, get messy in sand-pits, show their artistic talents with arts and crafts, build dens, climb trees, dress-up and much more...Really cool!! I wish I had a place like this when I was growing up as it creates an experience for the young people that includes all and shares experiences amongst the group that attends! Hats off to the staff that run the centre!

Upon our arrival we were greeted by Clare and the staff team, not forgetting the young people who attend the centre...who seemed quite eager to participate in whatever activities we had prepared for them...but made us feel so relaxed and welcome. We were there for two whole days and on the first day, which began with introductions to Customisation, street art and using materials (COSHH), we familiarised ourselves with the centre and with the young people who were buzzing in and around the centre. Day One was focused on Tshirt and Clothing customisation and each young person was required to customise a tshirt. This was to be done using personal ideas considering who they are, what their interests are and as a way to understand who they are within the group (taking ownership and responsibility).

The day got off to a brilliant start with the young people engaging and participating in the processes, for example at Stage 1 the young people had to create a list of favourites ie colours, toys, games, films etc..then Stage 2 was to use symbols, icons, lines( scribbles, doodles...whatever) etc to represent their favourites. At this stage it is evident that they were fully consumed and engaged in the activity as some of the work produced by the young people reflects their interests, with some creating amazing pieces of work that would impress anyone with artistic skills.  The concentration on the young people's faces was worth it, to see them questioning themselves and engaging in such an activity, the staff were impressed ( so were we) with the way the young people behaved and listened to instructions and that they even showed some flare!!(...actually sitting down and being quiet throughout the activities). Stage 3 involved the young people in painting their tshirts, applying the designs they created onto tshirts using a range of processes. This is usually a messy process (...usually spilling painting everywhere and on each other) but the young people dealt with it well by following the instructions that were given to them. 
The young people created really bright and colourful Tshirt designs that reflect the diverse interests within the group and also identifying some similar interests shared within the group. It was inspiring to see them wear their designs proudly and showing them off to each other, once they were dry of course. Day One was a success with everyone looking forward to Day Twos activities!

Day Two was all about Canvas and Mural painting (..also great to see some of the young people turn up wearing their new personally designed tshirts!!) and it began similarly to the previous day, with an introduction into Street Art and Customisation and a strong reminder of using hazardous substances. As part of our service to deliver creative workshops, our aim is to raise awareness of the materials, equipment and processes that are involved and making sure that young people develop an understanding of this to be able to make informed decisions.  Once the talking was over (phew....) we resumed to the stages as before with Stage One being focused on Planning, researching about personal or group interests, creating lists and simple sketches. Young people were encouraged to investigate, explore and research into their ideas before proceeding to the next stage. Stage Two is all about Preparation, experimenting further with materials, developing initial sketches and preparing surfaces. Stage Three is the stage most people (not just the young ones...) fear as this is the stage that paint is applied to a blank canvas which can scare most of us but on realising that the processes have prepared you for this part makes it slightly less challenging. The young people were clearly comfortable with the task and where fully engaged with their canvas boards with some continuing their ideas and some wanting a fresh start. The boards that were produced were even more colourful than the tshirts, as this time round it seems they understood what they were required to do and also enjoyed creating their own personal canvas boards from their own ideas....and what a result. 

We had an amazing time working with this 'energetic' group and look forward to returning in the summer, in fact we cannot wait! We would like to thank all the young people who attended for being awesome participants on both days, listening to instructions, offering help and for being themselves, also would like to thank everyone at Portsea Venture for the card they made for us, we will frame it and hang it up! Thank you! 
Special thanks to all the staff at Portsea Venture, Michelle, Cal, Liz, Alice ( guys rock and commend what you do, thanks for the hospitality!), Clare Hussein (@maibikita... and of course Miss Bikita for organising us to come down) and to the Ghostdavandal Originals Team, namely Aman Mahoon (...for the tiresome driving) and Marvin H Mudzongo..Thanks!

Customise Ur Life
Be Original

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