Embedding Digital Inclusion: Pyramid of Arts

Pass the Print with Pyramid

Get online week is over for this year, but we’re going to carry on our theme of embedding digital inclusion by sharing a selection of case studies throughout the week which showcase some of the excellent ways our partners have integrated digital aspects into non-digital activities.

This entry is from Alice Clayden, Creative Programme Coordinator at Pyramid, about how using a digital medium has enabled the creation of collaborative artwork by artists with learning disabilities.

Who are Pyramid?

Pyramid works with people with learning disabilities in groups and one to one to discover, explore and enjoy the arts! We work with people with all levels of abilities and have specialised sessions for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities.

At Pyramid, art means all art forms: painting, drawing, music, dance, theatre, film, photography, sculpture – anything our members want to try!

Our Discover programme is for people with mild-moderate learning disabilities. The groups meet for 38 weeks per year, completing three creative projects over three terms.

Our High Rise programme is for people with profound and multiple learning disabilities. We currently run a music group and a movement group. Our High Rise groups have a strong track record of producing new music and devised theatre, which we share through public performances.

Our Development Teams involve one artist with a learning disability working one to one with a non-learning disabled artist. The DTeam format works well for people who have an interest or skill in a particular art form that they want to develop and/or for people who want to try creative activities but whose support needs are such that group work is not appropriate for them.

How are they integrating digital inclusion?

Collaborating Development Team artists Rhea and Alice Burford have created, and self-directed an ongoing Pyramid project called ‘Pass the Print’. Passing a piece of digital artwork back and forth to one another via email, artists Rhea and Alice add to and edit the piece in response to the last layer added using a variety of creative programmes. The piece will start as a blank page and evolve over time into a collaborative piece of original artwork which celebrates and unites both artists!

A mixture of adobe photoshop alongside various FREE drawing apps were used.

Setting a general theme for each piece is a good idea when starting a new piece, and also having tight deadlines for sending in progress work through to one another means that pieces don’t get forgotten!

What did people think?

The Pass the Print pieces were shared on the Pyramid social media accounts and they got positive feedback. Lots of people were asking if we could turn them into prints and post cards that they could purchase from our online shop. This is now on our TO DO list for future shop products.

Alice and Rhea really always enjoy the process of working on collaborative pieces together as they have similar interests and styles of working! But having the option of working on a digital piece which they worked on in layers, exchanging the file back and forth via email meant that this gave them the time and space (physically and psychologically) to develop the piece in their own time, maybe with a cuppa in bed or out on a bench in nature, rather than having to do it there and then in the studio. This freedom of choosing when and where they could work on the art definitely impacted the feel of the finished pieces!

What’s next?

Alice and Rhea would like to extend the idea of Pass the Print project out to other Pyramid DTeams who meet up for creative sessions at the Pyramid studio. Often our groups and development teams meet at the same time on the same day every week for sessions, so often the only time people get to see what fellow artists have been working on is by getting a sneak peak of art work in progress being pinned on the wall, half-finished prints on drying racks, parts of sculptures left out to dry until next weeks sessions.

Alice and Rhea believe that Pass the Print project will encourage our artists to communicate amongst one another, share ideas and start to experiment with more collaborative approaches to their creative practice without the pressure of verbal introductions and group meetings as these can be overwhelming for people.

The hope is that if people meet first and get to know one another initially through exchanging their artwork they will feel more comfortable, confident and open to face-to-face collaborations in the future!

Where can you find out more about Pyramid?

Website – www.pyramid.org.uk
Twitter – @Pyramid_of_Arts
Facebook – @Pyramid.of.Arts
Instagram – @pyramid_arts

You can also find our more about the artist Rhea here!