Richard Jeffery - photo courtesy of Nick Baxter

I have been running participatory arts projects since 2002 – part education, part exploration, part celebration.  I am also a member of ZooFish Arts CIC, a social enterprise company set up in 2012 with two other Dorset artists to offer arts projects for local communities.

All workshops are intended to develop communication and interpersonal skills in addition to creative growth; other aspects – independence, community development, positive self image, numeracy, literacy, etc – can be built in.  We always spend some time talking about the art form we use, looking at how it affects us in our daily lives and trying to work out what works, what doesn’t.  As an example, in community and housing estate based photography projects we explore how we respond to images in the media, and perhaps how we can use those same skills to promote a more positive image.

Wherever possible a project ends in some celebratory event, preferably a public exhibition of the work – planning and running such an event provides more opportunities for participants to develop a broader range of skills and experience.  Recent projects have exhibited work in ‘proper’ gallery spaces such as Bournemouth Library and Russell Cotes Museum, Lighthouse in Poole and has figured in an Arts Council roadshow of good practice.  Where possible I want projects to continue after my involvement – an early photography project in Christchurch gave rise to a camera club within the drop-in centre which ran for five years or so.

Nearly anything is possible, given the right amount of support.  Two projects in Bristol and Salisbury Hospital Spinal Unit developed a way for wheelchair users with upper body mobility issues to use cameras on tripods, as well as identifying types of adaptations that could be worked up if needed.  I’m keen to put into practice one day some ideas for a photography project for individuals with severe visual impairment….

NB – all current projects are run through ZooFish Arts CIC – and of course have come to a halt during Covid 19.  I’m currently pondering how to get our Arts and Dementia project back up again and still maintain a useful level of socialisation…

Community Art Projects

Working with disability and community groups to set up participatory arts projects

Photography

Richard Jeffery Photography - current arts based and portrait photography practice Find Out More»

3D Artist & Ceramacist

Assemblage and ceramic work, often from the findings of local and distant beaches.
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