Young People from West Clare have created unique visual statements through the “My Own Brand” project facilitated by renowned artist Ruth Wood and the Clare Youth Service.
A full-time artist for over two decades, Ruth Wood’s Pen and Ink drawings of West Clare have received widespread acclaim but she also relishes her role as a Community Art Educator, empowering others to develop the confidence to make strong personal visual statements. As well as being a professional artist, Ruth is a qualified trainer and works with schools, older groups and people with disabilities
“It’s a privilege to be able to work in the community, with a diverse range of people to explore and communicate their unique visual expression. So I was delighted to be asked by Clare Youth Service to work with local young people here in West Clare.”
This led to a small group from the Kilrush Youth Diversion Project and Kilrush Youth Project working with Ruth and supported by Youth Justice Worker Adriona Meere.
The project gave the young people the opportunity to explore colour and how it can be used to visualize emotions as well as an opportunity to engage in mindfulness through creative engagement.
In designing the creative workshops, ‘meeting young people where they are at’ was a key starting point for Ruth and Adriona. Ruth utilized a variety of artistic and facilitation approaches to engage the young people in a person-centered process with very effective results,
“This was completely different to what I thought it would be. I liked finding my own colour and experimenting with the different materials” was the reaction of one participant.
Whilst the participative process was central to the project, both Ruth and Adriona were adamant that the participants would receive a high quality, tailormade workshop using the best of materials.
Thus, by completion date, each young person had created their own unique framed art work. The second strand involved the creation of stationery for each participant. A copy of their artwork was edited, printed, and then used as a foundational visual template. This writing paper can be used for future explorations in the young person’s personal development and goal setting endeavorus, thus giving each young person their own unique brand, created by themselves and reflective of their own identity.
Ruth was highly complimentary of the efforts and abilities of the participants. “Adriona and I worked together to provide a safe and comfortable space for structured artistic experimentation. In this space, the participants were free to explore a sense of self. The individual artwork created here is a testament to the unique artistic expression of the young people of Kilrush Youth Centre,” she said.