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NG:She – Creative Connections course

I was lucky enough to be free on the days NG:She offered this introductory taster course. I spotted an advert on Facebook and curiosity got the better of me. I was given a place on the course by text message, which was incredibly easy and fast! Over three days in July, a small group of women gathered at the Television Workshop in Nottingham and flexed our artistic muscles in three different areas.

As I’ve only lived here a year I had never heard of the organisation. They began with Domestic Violence awareness seminars and aim to empower and support women. They have offered a range of sessions and will begin a new programme in September, so keep an eye on their Facebook Page if you live in Nottinghamshire!

The course was delivered in a friendly, open way and before I knew it we were chatting about our lives and the various challenges we all faced, as well as our hopes, dreams and reasons for attending. They were varied – some people worked in education and got ideas for bringing more creativity into their setting, some of us enjoyed the cathartic element to expressing ourselves, some hoped to try something new – but I think it’s fair to say we all enjoyed ourselves whatever our motivation.

The days were organised in such a way that as we built up familiarity with each other, we were able to get the most out of the sessions. By the time we reached improvisation and acting, we’d gotten to know each other a bit so it was much less nerve wracking. It all made perfect sense and I was confident and comfortable throughout the entire course – and I usually struggle around strange adults because I’m so out of practise dealing with anyone over the age of 5…

 

On day one we focused on art – working on individual drawings, experimenting, and finally working on a collaborative piece which reflected our different styles. Carrie Fisher was the perfect subject, her irreverent sense of humour and determination captured something about the optimism I felt from sharing a supportive environment with other women.

The second day, we tried poetry and creative writing. The exercises were straightforward and easy to understand. I’ve always been reluctant to try writing poetry and I assume there’s a formula or rules involved that I will make a fool of myself by breaking, without even being aware of them…

 

My favourite exercise was exclusion poetry where we picked phrases or words that jumped out from an article and then blocked out the rest, creating a flow of words directed by our subconscious. I found it very effective, and I was happiest with the first one of mine. I wonder if I can figure out how to stop myself going into it with preconceived ideas, as I definitely felt like the first one had something the others didn’t!

The third day was all about acting skills, improvisation and exploring non-verbal methods of communication. How much can you follow of a conversation conducted using only numbers instead of words!? It turns out… quite a lot when you figure in body language, tone and facial expressions. It’s also incredibly funny to let yourself go and indulge in some silliness! A real mood booster if ever there was one.

Photo Credit – NG:She

 

I would love to volunteer with them in the future, as well as trying my hand on some other courses. I’m looking forward to seeing where they go next!

Talk to me!

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