COMPASS Game Changing Creativity

Young people on COMPASS had the opportunity to take part in workshops with artist Justin Wiggan, across a 3-day Creative Bootcamp, from his Centre for Curious Investigations. With a strong focus on wellbeing, exploration of self and positive messaging, Justin guided the participants to explore their identities interpreted as road signs, their dreams as haikus. Uniting each day’s workshop theme, was the placement of the finished artworks in a public space as intervention. For many young people (and established artists!) this can be an extremely daunting prospect, however empowered as a collective having developed a personal language, young people stepped out of their comfort zones.

“I never expected to be displaying my artwork in public, I’ve never done that before”.

It was exciting to see people stop and look at the artworks, curious at something out of the ordinary and wanting to find out more. The Real Ideas office in Liskeard looked as though it had been transformed into a protest site, with spray painted words on bedsheets. Garnering a lot of interest from the general public, on closer inspection, they could talk to participants and read of dreams and poetic positivity.

Designed to disrupt social pre-conceptions with surprisingly affirmative experiences, Justin’s workshops visibly helped previously anxious participants step confidently into a public arena.

The inclusive and nurturing support throughout the workshop meant that even the quieter participants enjoyed themselves and saw their artworks displayed prominently outside the Real Liskeard office or covertly on posts in books and on noticeboards. The change in their demeanour from the start to the end of the day from quiet to confident and boisterous, was palpable.

This transformation was highlighted even more to staff as a previous participant walked by on the second day, who stopped to chat. Which sounds simple but this young man would have never engaged in conversation previously. This time he was laughing and joking, talking about his job, new flat and fashion sense. Talking to this young man and standing in front of the colourful spray-painted bedsheets fooling everyone into a protest but shouting of gentle things, put into contrast how much the small things we work on with participants can amplify and grow into big, bold positive experiences, where people are unafraid of being in the world and are full of joy.

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