“I took inspiration from the 2 main themes that seemed to be present in during my residence at the Walton Centre: connections of people, and the physical aspect of brain workings represented as connections of neurons.
Throughout the residency, the resilience of human spirit and the care people have for one another was an underlying theme that I have witnessed at the Walton Centre. Through the process of making tiles with patients, their family members, their friends and staff members, it was a privilege to see the dynamics of this played out in front of me. I was in awe of all the participating patients, how they had coped with what they have had to go through, and how they seemed to be coping with what they are going through now.
During the workshops I was inspired by how creativity moved in people and produced beautiful things, sometimes despite the participants’ conditions or their unknowing of their creativity. I enjoyed seeing people including those who claim to be ‘no-good-at-art’ be absorbed in the process of creation and also seeing artistic patients develop pieces with their enquiry into the material and processes, bringing about new techniques I have not thought of before.
An interesting thing was that the methods and the themes of our tile making evolved and changed as the residency progressed, as we influenced and inspired one another. It was a fluid and organic thing. I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of it.
I took snippets of inspiration from various tiles created by the patients, such as the way a flower was depicted in one artwork, or how in another dots were connected as a pattern or how a plant was depicted in a landscape scene. Some patients gave me ideas (verbally and through their work) about what colours to use.
I also took inspiration from imagery of brain neurons, dendrites, astrocytes and other shapes, which were suggested by Dr. Rhys Davies who acted as an advisory consultant on the project.
The artwork Connections is a culmination of all these inspirations, suggestions and experiences I had at the Walton Centre.