Work Experience By An Art Student From
Lichfield College Staffordshire
In November 2018 a student from Lichfield College, who is doing Level 3 Art & Design, chose our art group to gain work experience as part of her course.
Laura Pilmore has been getting to know members, and their likes/dislikes in their chosen art. Our members who have different disabilities needed to get used to Laura in their own time. Laura is very aware of the need for her to be accepted as part of the group before introducing anything “new/different”.
After four sessions, Laura has now gained the confidence of the members and is interacting very well. Laura has been working on drawing eyes. Getting members to sit with each other and draw eyes. This aspect can be very difficult for some members who have autism. Laura coped very well encouraging them , and working as a team/group were looking at each other’s eyes and looking at Laura’s eyes too. Everyone enjoyed the session.
Having got to know the members, Laura is setting out a plan to work with each member individually, introducing different art methods of their choice. Then working as a group to encourage team work, and social skills, whilst developing their art skills.
The most important skill/talent Laura has , and why she is so valuable to our group, is that she has living experience of people with disabilities. Laura has family members who have different disabilities, and can understand how “certain things and situations” can affect them.
I am so pleased to have Laura working with us, and how through meeting our members and getting to know them. She is understanding how having the opportunity to express themselves through art is helping those who cannot do so verbally.
Laura is very interested why some members use only dark colours, or wont draw faces, eyes etc. She is looking at the psychology of art, and how our members are expressing their feelings/through art.
Over the coming weeks Laura is going to be mindful of members choice of art, and what they are trying to express/say. She will try to introduce/find other ways that may be helpful to work on in the future.
My son, who is autistic, has been drawing/painting pictures from his early childhood memories. He can remember the year that it relates to. As he cannot express himself verbally, Laura is going to work with him to encourage him to draw something from a given year. Having a good memory for dates/years is a gift people with autism have.
This is an area that Laura is very interested in, and I as a parent am continually finding ways/methods to help my son and others to express their feelings/thoughts through art.