Pablos Art Studio provides people who have experience of mental illness with free materials, tuition and support to make art. Voice Arts Trust delivered a number of drama-based workshops to willing and interested artists. Our aim was to provide artists with an experience of a creative process driven by the voice and body, to encourage new forms of self-expression and build confidence. Here is some feedback from the participants:
I felt my brain stretch for the first time in four years. It was a chance to try new things.
It was a safe place to take a risk.
I felt more accepted here at Pablos. I think it accelerated the process of feeling part of the Pablos group.
It has helped me bring more ideas to the studio, I have more spontaneous ideas to work on.
Phase One was free weekly drama classes for refugee youth which ran October 2010 – February 2011. These classes were used to build capacity amongst the youth with the aim of nurturing a core group who would move on to phase two of the project.
Phase Two is the creation of an original performance work that will be presented to the wider Wellington community at the World Refugee Day carnival held every year. At this point a number of theatre professionals will be invited to offer mentoring and support to the core group.
Phase Three will see the performance recorded and edited into a DVD which, with the script, will be circulated to schools and agencies nationwide in an effort to engage further debate around the refugee experience and foster greater understanding of refugee issues.