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Over the past 6 weeks we have been running our weekly sessions via zoom with creative postal correspondence in between. We have embraced this new way of working and have noticed that we are working in very much the same way as we do in the studio – finding our way together, in response to what happens in the moment.We have taken some familiar activities – Louise takes the register and says hello to everyone, we do a group activity and see where it goes before splintering off into individual or small group/pair work and Marion runs our evaluation at the end of the session.

We have found ways of using the technology of Zoom to makes these things easier: the ‘Spotlighting’ function makes it easier to focus on who is speaking at any one time which is crucial when taking the register, demonstrating an activity, sharing work or doing the evaluation. The splintering off from the group activity takes place in breakout rooms now instead of different parts of the studio. The small group spaces have been a really useful place for participants to say hello to each other, to perhaps vocalise worries and talk things through before engaging back into the creative activities which provide an important distraction and release.

In the studio we often begin with a proposition, a particular set up or starting point which prompts a group activity and then feeds into individual work. In this new way of working our proposition comes via email asking the group to bring different things with them each week which we then work with in some way. Prompts have included: bring something to look through, bring something from the garden, bring an object you like, or bring a plain mask made from cardboard or paper.

We have also been running an afternoon session with two participants who benefit more from close, one to one working and there has been some really exciting experimentation with how we make zoom a sensory space – more on this in our next blog post.

Tuesday Accelerate Studio Lead Artist – Annis Joslin.