Some quotes from our service users, trainees, commissioners, interns and other professionals that know our business:
The course was very relevant for me because it introduced me to working with children and the community. Prior to that I was only working part time and had only ever worked in an office environment. Through this course I felt my confidence grow and developed an extreme sense of satisfaction working with children and the community. This course gave me the confidence to contact my local primary school, which led to me providing voluntary work which eventually led to paid work doing art workshops. This also led me to approaching other schools to teach martial art workshops. I am now a project development officer for the Clapham and Larkhall Collaborative of schools and I volunteer for a charity called the Klevis Kola Foundation. I am very grateful and privileged to have had the opportunity to learn from two amazing teachers, Julie and Ellie through this course.
Jamie San, July 2013
I applied to do a three-month placement with Art4Space because I am preparing to apply for an MA in Art Psychotherapy and needed to gain some firsthand experience working on community art projects to support my application. During my three months with Art4Space I have worked primarily at ‘Creative Surgery’, which takes place every Tuesday. Here I have learnt about mosaicing and ceramics techniques, met regular service users and applied my new skills to help create community mosaics.
The most notable experience I have gained during my three months with Art4Space was at Rockmount Primary School where I assisted Jewels in a Logo project. Over the course of two days we worked with each child in the school and asked them to design a new logo for the schools parents and teachers association. This meant delivering the same class to a range of age groups and abilities, which gave me great experience in adapting my pitch for each class. I was able to use this experience, along with my other work for Art4Space on a subsequent job application and to support my MA application.
I found Art4Space to be a friendly and relaxed environment. Jewels and Eli were enthusiastic and supportive both when it came to Art4Space projects and when offering me advice about future studies; emailing me information for local courses, opportunities and events and helping me to get my CRB check completed.
In addition to the practical experience I gained I also saw firsthand how their work really helps to bring communities together and how it gives people a sense of focus and achievement. The services they provide go much further then creative practice and this insight has helped to secure my decision that this is the career path I want to pursue. I look forward to helping out at Art4Space in the future and wish them the best of luck!
Hannah Wroe July 2013
I, Zoe Snelgrove, took Art4space’s Walcot 2012 course, Employability and Community Art. I found it extremely useful,beneficial and that my employability has improved as a result of taking part on the course. The course was informative and I feel as though I have gained valuable knowledge of an industry which I have great interest in but which previously seemed unattainable. The delivery of the course was balanced-informative, hands on skills, working alongside the children at their after school art club. It was fun to take part in, I met some lovely people and since taking the course I have secured paid work by setting up my own business. I regard myself to be very fortunate to have taken this course and I was sad to hear that the course was not to continue, now with the news that it might start again I wish to endorse it with this statement of my experience-Art4space are great teachers and I would recommend their courses to anyone!
Zoe Snelgrove July 2013
” A brilliant experience. Art4Space has been really supportive throughout my one-month volunteer placement. Not only do I gain more experience about how a community arts organization works daily-to-daily, but I have gained much more understanding about how community arts is used to build up strong connections with the local community. Julie and Eli are also very willing to pass on any techniques and experiences about mosaic/ceramics to anyone who are enthusiastic. The atmosphere here is light and uplifting;we spend time chatting and having teas, it is definitely a place where you want to revisit again and again!’
Hoi Ling Rebecca Tso, Intern. June 2013
‘Art4Space bring a distinctive and very interesting expertise that the teenagers would not normally have in their lives‘
Andrew Brown, Stewarts Road Adventure Playground, Stockwell. May 2013
‘Over the past 9 years I have worked in the community with Adults and children, through my housing Association and Larkhall Primary School and projects through Well London. During 2011 I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer and had to stop volunteering ! I am now in remission and wanted to get back into teaching jewellery making and other Crafts. All along I’ve wanted to have something to say other than a reference or recommendation that I have a skill at training others in arts in the Community and this course answered those prays! I know feel confident to pursue a career in community arts thanks to Art4Space and this course Employability in community Arts.’
Deborah Joy, service user. February 2013
During my three-month placement at Art4Space I was totally immersed in the weekly goings on of this leading community arts organization. Jewels and Eli not only welcomed me with open arms as a member of the team, but carefully mentored my progress offering invaluable guidance, so as to fully enrich my learning.
‘I was exposed the full range of services Art4Space provide from planning commissions, to focused mosaic and mural work, assisting on outreach and on corporate business days, to kiln hire, community courses, art club, festival work and even sourcing scaffolding (there ain’t nothing these women can’t do!).
The most staggering part of the whole experience for me was what a difference Art4Space make to their local community, and far reaching still. They unite local people in inspiring and quite brilliant art work to promote social cohesion and a sense of ownership within our communities. Housing estates, schools, parks, underground stations, and fronts of buildings are transformed beyond recognition.
The collaborative nature of a lot of their work involves meticulous planning and execution, but the focus is always on contributing something exciting, engaging and lasting to the world we live in. Their notable reputation precedes them, with friends and artists alike dropping in for a cup of tea, or to help out on a new commission, not to mention the stack of awards and write ups that are quietly pinned up around the studio.
The like-minded friends I met as a result of working for the organization have opened up new opportunities for me, for which, I am so very grateful.’
Verity Kennard – 3 month volunteer placement 2012
‘I have been unemployed for several years, I have very little qualifications and have a low esteem of myself. I found that coming to Art4Space and learning about different ways of applying art and teaching it, was very encouraging. I discovered about teaching techniques and helping with after school club has proved valuable. I found that Julie and Eli’s approach was steady, concise and very inspiring. Things like employability and preparation for job interviews also make me feel more relaxed about future job opportunities. My self confidence has grown and I feel that I am moving towards a position of work in this feld, having completed the course and feeling confident about that achievement. I think that this kind of course is great for people in similar position to me. It provides an avenue and a first step towards employment. I hope to find a position soon in the area of work.’
Chris McGrath. ‘Employability and Community Art’ Course 2, November 2012
‘In the first instance I was attracted by the work that Art4space did. I wanted to be involved. I started coming as a volunteer over a year ago and have always been made to feel welcome and my contribution appreciated. I loved working on the projects, learning and developing my mosaic skills and meeting interesting people from a wide variety of cultural backgrounds.
As a result of a 10 week NOCN course provided by Art4Space I have become more aware of and interested in the surrounding area of Stockwell, how it has developed and what it has to offer now and what could be the future.
Personally the course has given an impetus to a creative burst and a period of positivity and optimism that I have not experienced for some time. The course was very well thought out and prepared and it was really thorough and enjoyable.
Art4Space provides an environment where individuals are nurtured and given the confidence to develop their creative skills.
Art4Space works with diverse groups within the community to produce visually exciting and enduring signage and installations. These site-specific pieces can become a jewel like feature of colour full of brightness in the midst of the grey, impersonal concrete urban landscape. People will remember the mosaics that adorned their playground or community centre or block of flats – especially if they themselves took an active part in the design or making of them. Years later they will be able to say ‘I worked on that!’ Or point out a ceramic tile to their son or daughter and say with pride ‘I did that one!’
Art4Space at Stockwell Studios is a place where all age groups can interact. I am in my 50’s and I enjoy having the opportunity to work alongside young adults, teenagers and primary school children. There are not many places apart from perhaps religious institutions where people can really get to know others of a different generation.
The garden of Stockwell Studios is a wonderful resource. Last week a saw a group of about 15 children from Art4Space after school club running about excitedly collecting swigs and leaves to make a face collage, while in the far corner a man was working on a large easel painting of the ponds and another artist was intently studying foliage for inspiration.
Not everyone has access to a garden of their own so it is beneficial for the local community that this one is open to the public at least once a week during the summer months. People can just walk in and enjoy the peace and quiet for reflection in a tranquil spot, or sit on the grass in the sun and read or simply appreciate birdsong and nature surrounding them.
There are also fetes, barbecues and other public events held in the garden and studios throughout the year. These events are well run and popular and fun for all the family.’
Laura Symes. Long term volunteer and attended course 1 ‘Employability and Community Art’. 2012
“Your passion and commitment is evident in the way you have completed the questionnaire. your hard work has clearly had results, and continues to be a valuable asset to the community……A comprehensive entry with plenty of facts in support of their case. It is encouraging to see how many different parts of the community are touched by the activities of Art4Space, particularly with regard to young people. With twelve years of trading, this is clearly a sustainable operation…..”
Lambeth business award, judges comments. March 2012
‘Volunteering for Art4Space has always been a very rewarding experience for me. Both Julie and Ellie are always very encouraging and enthusiastic. The experience of being involved with them is a real opportunity for anyone to grow creatively by, in my own experience, trying something new and being provided with the tools and support to do that. I enjoyed very much being part of a professional competent team’
David Baldwin, volunteer. October 2011