Except from ‘The Artist’ by Gavin Jackson; 2011
SRS: Supported Residential Services (SRS) which offer accommodation to men and women living with mental health issues, physical/intellectual disability, acquired brain injury or drug/alcohol dependency.
Pop Up Studios: Weekly art workshops held “in-house” at a SRS presented by Arts Access Victoria. The pop up studios are an opportunity for residents to access professional art practice in the convenience and comfort of their residential home. These studios are aimed at introducing residents to the practice of art making, building new skills and techniques.
Open Studios: Weekly art workshops held at a community venue local to one or several SRS who have already undertaken a series of Pop Up Studios and are ready for their art practice to be further developed in a studio environment which is independent to their residential home. Open studios provide a focused, professional and welcoming space for SRS residents to further develop their skills and techniques in art making as well as an opportunity to connect with their local community.
What do the SRS Studios offer?
Professional Arts Practice
Our studios are an opportunity for people from residential services to engage with art making in a professional studio environment with high quality materials and industry level tutelage and advice.
Our workshops focus on the process of art making – what it is to be an artist, what materials an artist may choose to work with and what ways an artist may choose to showcase their art. We offer a broad range of skills and techniques as well as different genres approaches and styles that participating artists can learn about.
Our studios offer people choice. Choice in how they make art, in what way they choose to make art and how they wish to develop as an artist. While in the studio, each participating artist is given a choice in how they participate, be it through
- observation (watching other people make art)
- hands on art making
- refining established skills (many people come with existing skills they wish to build upon, rediscover and/or explore in the studio)
- trying new skills/mediums
- talking about their process and ideas
- researching art practice by looking through books, journals and other resource materials for reference
- researching art practice through seeing local exhibitions
We offer support to participating artists as well as encouraging their own independence and autonomy in decision making while making art.
We strongly support the opportunity for participating artists to become leaders in the arts and have the following experiences on offer for this reason. We have structured these opportunities in a way that offers support as well as incremental challenges, should participating artists seek to pursue them:
- Artists Talks (an opportunity for artists to present their works to the studio, discussing their process and ideas as a way of self reflecting and seeking critical feedback from the group. This is also an opportunity to develop confidence in presenting their artworks and ideas to an audience and public speaking)
- Skills Share (an opportunity for artists to lead the studio in a workshop of their preferred technique. For example, a participating artist who has established strong skills and enthusiasm in printmaking might wish to run a workshop on print making for other participating artists to learn from. Skills shares can happen in the studio a participating artist regularly works in, or in another SRS studio that they visit)
- Show case outcomes (an opportunity for artists to develop skills in showcasing artworks for public presentation. An artist might choose to exhibit their works solo, as a group exhibition or to collaborate with another artist, to select and curate the exhibition or to assist with publicity and promotion)
Participation in our studios means participating in art making. We do not work from a model of art therapy, nor do we offer any kind of therapy. We are not interested in “curing disability”, we are interested in offering people an opportunity to engage in arts practice.
Who Are We?
Participating Artists: Artists that participate in the SRS Studio workshops. The majority of participating artists are SRS residents. Other participating artists include visitors to the community facility that the studio operates from, for example visitors to The Olive Way Drop in Centre. Previous experience in arts practice is not a requirement for participating artists, and the SRS studios welcome people of all levels of art making whether a beginner or experienced artist.
Lead Artists: Artists employed by Arts Access Victoria that facilitate and lead the day to day running of SRS Studio workshops as well as long-term creative journey of professional development for participating artists. Lead Artists are professional, practicing artists with industry experience as well as experience in facilitating workshops for people who experience disability and or mental health issues.
Support Artists: Artists employed by Arts Access Victoria that work alongside the Lead Artist to deliver the workshops. This includes providing individual support, as required, to participating artists under the direction of the Lead Artist as well as support the lead artist in the development and implementation of art practices and outcomes.
Want to join?
Our studios seek to support participating artists’ journey with art making whether they are; at a beginner level wanting an introduction to art making, an experienced artist seeking to extend their skills and techniques, or an established artist that is ready to showcase their art making in a public forum. Our studios present a range of options that enable people with varying levels of experience to engage in our workshops.
Our Studio Space
Integral to the success of our workshops, our physical studio space prioritises:
- high quality materials
- safe OHS practices
- open and welcoming
- room to move
- an adjacent comfortable, safe space for people to have a break
- obvious entry and exit
Our Studio Rules
In order to have a productive, supportive and enjoyable workspace environment, we have the following rules in place:
- respect materials
- work safely
- respect each other’s space
- no hugging – just handshakes to greet