Dyslexia workshop

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July arrived and so did the sun, rain and wind, but no weather could deter from the enthusiasm and talent of the children I had the delight of sharing the Dyslexia worksop with.

As the children stepped through the door of The Barefoot Sanctuary into the workshop the energy rose up and excitement and nerves all started to bubble to the surface for the children and for myself.

The workshop was designed to explore what Dyslexia meant to each individual child and to look at the positives in being identified as Dyslexic.

Each day we started off with a high energy game, followed with a check in and then onto the art making process. The workshop closed with another high energy game, a check out, where one positive was shared from each child on how their Dyslexia had helped them that day and then a game of wink murder. The structure was to allow containment for the children’s feelings and for them to feel safe to explore and express their emotions in relation to their Dyslexia.

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Dyslexia was our main focus, so where better to start then the word itself, identifying that it is just a word and it does not need to define us. Each child chose a letter and designed it how they wanted it to look, with the idea it could be anything they wished.  As pens moved across the paper voices started to become louder and stories were being shared about how each child had come to be in the group. United by their Dyslexia voices that were once quite became louder, offering stories, suggestions and ideas of how they wished to use their time in the workshops.

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As I sat and witnessed the children work with their strengths, I was in awe of their ability to share their truth about their Dyslexia openly and honestly in the group. As they drew they discussed what was hard about being Dyslexic, the challenges they face in school, at home with siblings, with friends and parents. Amongst all the challenges there was clear strength and perseverance presence in the room as they continued to share ways of learning that worked for them and find the positives in being identified as being Dyslexic.

The children worked together to design new games, utilising problem solving skills and creative out of the box thinking to ensure everyone could take part. They worked together demonstrating listening skills, great communication, respect for one another as they created and drew ideas and designs for the last day expressing how they wished to bring everyone in the group together.

In one closing circle the questions was “what is the positive in having Dyslexia?” the child stated

“If I did not have Dyslexia I would not be in this group and met everyone here and had fun”

Parents noted in response to the question ‘Do you feel working in a small group of children also identified at Dyslexic supported your child with their understanding of her own Dyslexia?

“Yes, she is proud of herself. She sees her abilities differently now and looks to problem solving rather than despondency. “

“We all really think it helped him to understand Dyslexia more and he enjoyed talking about it with other’s as its not something he would necessarily talk about with his friends.”

I feel the children grew in confidence and their understanding of their Dyslexia. Through the art making process they were able to come together and share their narratives of their Dyslexia and to be heard, witnessed and understood by one other.

I believe my Dyslexia is a gift and with all the challenges it can present I wouldn’t be without it. To be able to share a space with children who are trying to understand their Dyslexia is a privilege.  To be able create a space where they can start to explore the postives and look to their Dyslexia as a gift and not something which will hold them back.

Dyslexia is amazing and I hope through further workshops I can continue to share this with children and help them to feel empowered by their Dyslexia.

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Dyslexia and me

It has been a busy few months preparing for Dyslexia awareness week. If you follow me on Instagram you will have seen the some of the work behind the scenes for my presentation to dyslexia Scotland as a part of Dyslexia awareness week.

I am delighted to say it went well, and the video I created is now available to view on Vimeo via this link: https://vimeo.com/303034122 The video is a snapshot into my journey with my Dyslexia, the first time I heard the word Dyslexic, my eduction, taking myself for diagnosis at 23. How Dyslexia forms the foundation in all that I do and create, and importantly it tells me I am not stupid it just takes me a bit longer to do things.

The video contains some stop frame animation, my first attempts, so be gentle as they are rough around the edges, and a animation at the end I created by using over 500 drawings, again this is me learning and trading new things, and this is only my second attempt.

I had wonderful feedback from the presentation and as a result I have been invited to some schools to talk to young people and to Dyslexia Scotland’s adult networking event taking place at codebase in Edinburgh on the 4th December for more info please follow the link https://www.dyslexiascotland.org.uk/events/adult-network-edinburgh-dyslexic-creativity

I am now looking ahead to different projects and wondering what the new year may bring. But for now its back tot he drawing board, a few commissions to complete before its time to sit back and take a well earned rest.

meandsilPlease feel free to comment on your thoughts of the video.

Zine submission

It’s been busy in the studio, juggling projects and tying up loose ends before my holiday starts on Saturday. In the busyness I decided to enter a competition for artworks for a zine focusing on chronic illnesses.

I decided to create a piece about my personal experience with chronic fatigue syndrome. Working in a different manner, I wished to create a more simple way of working, fast and effective and potentially be developed further into a animation.

I am delighted that I won a place in the zine which will be produced in September.

I am now working on individual stills for creating it into a animation, which I will share once complete.

Dyslexia Scotland Blog contribution

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I was invited by Dyslexia Scotland to contribute to their online blog “a life less ordinary”, and today it went live.

https://alifelessordinaryds.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/bear-with-me/

Through the process of thinking about what to illustrate and write I noted that it was taking me time to think of a good concept and one the what accessible to those with Dyslexia and those without.  The biggest challenge I have with my Dyslexia is the act of processing information, I can do it no problem, it just takes me a little while longer, and this is across the board, whether its in conversation, answering questions, or devising a idea or new concept for my work.  The best way for me to explain it is for you to imagine you come to the edge of a field, and you can see a path that clearly cuts through the middle getting you to your required destination, naturally you would take this path, as for me taking this path would not be as natural, I would walk the perimeter of the field or make up my own route wandering across the field, deciding a way that works for me.

It will just taking me longer, but this does not equate to me being slow or stupid. It is a proven scientific finding, that those with Dyslexia process information over three sectors of the brain whereas those without dyslexia process information over 2 ares of the brain.

So the final concept for the Dyslexia Scotland blog was called Bear with me, and so tank you for bearing what me as I have explained the process of the ,making of the concept,  I hope you will like the illustration and take the time to read the poem that I created to go with it!

Bear with me

 

Bear with me as I fumble for words,

it takes time, which may seem absurd

Bear with me as I doodle and draw,

I have the feeling I just can’t write anymore

Bear with me as I go for a walk to clear my head,

to try and lift this feeling of dread

Bear with as I get myself back on track,

to meet this deadline which I know I can crack

Bear with me as I doodle and draw, my head is full,

I can’t think straight anymore

Bear with me as I take my time,

find a pace that suits me fine

Bear with me as I pick up the pace,

I feel I can win this deadline race

Bear with me as the words transpire

Woohooo look at me I am on fire

Bear with me as my fingers tap away,

I am nearly done it’s the end of the day,

For this little rhyme,

it took a huge amount of time,

Bear with me as bring this to a close,

Scraping through by the skin of my nose,

As I sigh with relief,

I will keep this brief

Bear with me is my mantra in life,

its kept me out of certain strife,

Knowing I need that extra time

letting people know I am Dyslexic is fine

Dyslexia is part of me

so please bear with me and let me be me

 

New exhibtion

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I am delighted to say that I have a new exhibition at Anna Mather’s new hair salon in Haddington. Anna has opened a fantastic new salon in the heart of Haddington. Anna is an amazing hair dresser and has a very dedicated team. 

As well as being a  amazing place to get your hair done, it is a beautiful space, with high lofty ceilings, fantastic light and plenty of space to show work.  Anna wanted to keep a industrial and contemporary feel to the look of the salon, so it was my job to create work that would provide a good hit of colour and some pieces that reflected Annas personality. 

Building on three previous illustrations I made whilst listening to music I decide to add two more to create a set of five to sit along the staircase as you come up into the main salon space. Using bright bold colours that sat well together and would visually jump of the wall was a important part of the design.  They are hung opposite to where the clients will sit, allowing them to be reflected in the mirrors, feeling as though they are covering more than just one wall in the salon. 

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I designed two separate prints which were based on my experience of meeting Anna over the last several months. Anna strikes me as a very determined and strong willed character who is always up for a good laugh and is welcoming and is very passionate about her work. I felt that puns would sit well and would bring a fun light hearted feel. Using ‘Carpe Diem’ and ‘where there is a will there is a way’ as my two main quotes I created the two illustrations. These sit in the space where clients will have their hair coloured.  

 

The main opening night for the salon is on Saturday the 16th June and I am looking forward to going along and see the space all finished in its final glory. 

Thank you Anna for having my work in your space, and I look forward to discussing the next exhibition with you.  

All prints are available for purchase, please send me a e-mail if you wish to purchase one at lauracaveillustrations@gmail.com

All prints are done on a print to order basis, so can take up to 14 days turnaround, not including postage time. 

 

Shed a day for ME awareness week

Shed a day project was created for ME awareness week in May 2018. ME is also known as chronic Fatigue Syndrome and over 20,000 people in Scotland alone are diagnosed with this disease with a estimated 2000 new diagnosis each year. There is only one specialist nurse in all of Scotland. I focused on Scotland as this is where my experience is based, but this is a world spread problem, there is a severe lack of funding for much needed biomedical research. This is a disease that claims peoples energy, changing lives forever, what they once knew or did is no longer possible with a estimated 5% chance of full recovery.  The shed a day project was designed to reflect the isolation felt when fatigue takes over and people become housebound. All the sheds are in isolated places in the Scottish hills,  exposed to the ever changing elements mirroring the ever changing symptoms experienced by those with ME/CFS.

This was a great project to be involved in, and also very humbling and a stark reminder that life presents us with opportunities and they should be seized with both hands as tomorrow your world could look very different.

Artlink commission: part three

As the commission comes to a close I am looking back at the artworks that have been created and the relationships formed during the process.

During vists to the Glasshouses based at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital I met many lovely and talented artists.

Works of one partcilaur artists drew me, I got lost in looking at their work, the endless lines, the prescion and the way they were executed. A collaboration between them and myself occurred oragaincally during one studio session. A easel sat upon the desk with a large piece of paper tentively stuck on. The paper looked vast but invited marks to be made. The artist is mainly nonverbal, the whole piece was created through a silent communication, where I took the lead from the artist. Taking a pen they started to make small drawings in different areas of the paper, they all appeared to sit alone, floating with no correlation to each other, rich in overlapping lines, delicate forms were created. Looking to me and nodding towards the paint, together we made cardboard tools to make marks with. As the paint went onto the paper it started to unite the piece together, dabbing and dragging the paint across the page brought a sense of flow to the image. The artist sat back and nodded to indicate they were done and it was now time for them to leave.

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Contuning the collaborative process and with the artists permission I took a form created in the large piece and made a illustration to respond to the process of creating the large work together.

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Togther it was named Pylons. By repeating the form in paper cut outs I wished to echo the feeling of repetition in the marks and lines made in the larger piece.

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9E0EB04E-24C4-4642-AF89-A4D96BCE63E0The works are exhibited in the Western General in Edinburgh until the close of March.

 

 

Hanks Tri

Hanks Tri is a picture book that was created in response to research with adults who have dyslexia. The illustrations were designed to reflect there experiences, and the impact dyslexia has had on them.

The research was carried out through Dyslexia Scotland.

The concept of the book is the triathlon represents the three different areas of the brain that information has to travel in order for someone with dyslexia to process it. These are proven to be different parts of the brain than that of non dyslexic person.

A participant during the research stated “changing conversation is like having to transition all the time, it takes time and energy.”

The triathlon goes over the area of the brain and each section of the triathlon presents a new challenge, each based on participants experiences.

Each illustration is created of 2d parts constructed to make 3d sets, photographed and digitally coloured.

Hank has twine for his beard to represent the tangled thought process that can be experienced by someone with dyslexia.