What is your connection with Creativity Works?
I am a Creativity Works artist. I am a freelance photographer and facilitator and I devised and facilitate the Creativity Works ‘Snap & Stroll’ photography workshop programme.
How did you first come across Creativity Works?
I joined the Creativity Works mailing list after reading about them online. In 2014 I read in the monthly newsletter they were seeking a photographer for the Wellbeing Festival in Bath. I got in touch and, after photographing a few events, we began to discuss how we might work together to introduce photography into the Creativity Works programme.
What made you want to work with this organisation?
Quite simply, we share the same belief in creative self-expression as a tool for personal empowerment and social cohesion.
Which projects have you been involved with / how have you helped support Creativity Works?
I facilitated the 8 week ‘Snap & Stroll’ course in Bath and am currently facilitating the same course in Keynsham. In 2017 we will also run it in Radstock.
Snap & Stroll is an opportunity for participants experiencing or in recovery from anxiety, depression and mental health challenges to boost their confidence, get some fresh air and learn basic digital photography skills within a small and supportive group. The feedback has been so positive, and we were even able to exhibit participants work at the Guildhall in Bath for a month which was a great opportunity for all involved, with some very positive public responses.
What have you enjoyed the most about working with Creativity Works?
I have so enjoyed devising Snap & Stroll and working alongside an inspiring and dedicated bunch of staff, volunteers and, of course, workshop participants. I have also loved getting to know parts of Bath and Keynsham better on our photowalks, as I live in Bristol.
What has been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?
There are a few that stand out – firstly, working undercover in West Papua on a documentary for Al Jazeera TV a few years ago. Secondly, living and working in Nepal for 5 months, running a participatory photography project with women living in a ‘safe house’ who had suffered tremendous mental and physical domestic abuse. Lastly and most recently, setting up my own CIC (Community Interest Company), In The Picture, which delivers participatory photography workshops for disadvantaged or marginalised groups in Bristol, Bath and beyond – visit www.inthepictureuk.org
Do you have any creative aspirations for the future (with or without Creativity Works)?
I’m obviously looking forward to running more Snap & Stroll workshops with Creativity Works in 2017 and am also very excited about some other projects in the pipeline with In The Picture, and am hoping to partner with lots more local organisations to deliver participatory photography workshops across the region.