Artivist's Statement

People are people through people. Many may recognise the concept of 'Ubuntu' in other forms or phrases, that humanity is one, a united village. If one is poor, no one is rich; if one is ill, no one is well, and we are all responsible for each other as well as ourselves.

I work on a small scale as a self-taught artist, the work I make always has an emotional/mental health focus to it. In ways that impact and empower others for the better, I want to work as part of a world moving forward, with the oldest and truest concept: love. Love, not as emotion but as creation, is the base on which all good things are sewn, grown and thrive. I feel passionately that communication and genuine support are elements sorely missing in our societies but are key to the development of healthy people and strong communities who care for each other, themselves and the environment. I have done design and facilitation training in permaculture which combines three keys aspects: an ethical framework, observation and understanding of how nature works, and a plan. Care for the people, care for the Earth and fair share are the three main principles defined in permaculture, and express to me the values that underpin healthy, thriving human communities.

Through my experiences in care work I realised how important it is for me to be working on solutions, I like to be part of teams focused forward, on support, on positive change. I loved the work of supporting people including elderly, respite care and learning disabled; but I found the routine without progression frustrating. I want to make art with people, or add outdoor walks to their day to encourage marvelling at the Universe. I have found it often frustrating to have a mind that constantly asks 'why' and seeks to find the best solutions or ways of doing things; until I realised all I need is the right channel.

I am training in Emotional Freedom Technique which is a support therapy that can help people to process and recover from trauma, personal difficulties. I am drawn to it because of the nature of it's empowerment to the individual. EFT is a tool that is taught with the idea that the individual or group goes on to support themselves after a period of working with a practitioner. This is the basic recipe that I follow intuitively in almost all that I do: people who feel supported in ways that are meaningful to them feel better, do better, and are more likely to go on to support others.

I want to work through creativity to understand communities, society as a whole, I want to listen, to help with the healing where necessary or facilitate creativity and expression. I want to document, truthfully and compassionately through photojournalism, art, simply connecting. I value the skills I could learn to apply to this mission, to think critically and provide practical know-how from learning and life experience. I need to find the people who have a space for me on their team, where I have tools to share and work to do.

From a young age I was the counsellor amongst friends. My natural inclination to help and support led to much personal focus on learning emotional boundaries and supporting people to empower themselves, but still I refuse to accept that issues in our society belong only to the people experiencing them; it is together, and through connection, that we overcome.

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