We recently checked in on the recipient of the 2017 Access Arts Achievement Award, Freya Toussaint, and were amazed by the progress she has made with The Ripple Effect Project. Initiated as a result of Freya securing the Award, the Project explores new approaches to art in the disability sector. Through the Project, Freya has established the Art for Art’s Sake collective, which provides her and three other young artists with a platform to explore and develop art activities and small business opportunities.
Each of the four artists have partnered with their own experienced practicing artist for mentoring purposes. Weekly workshops are held in a professional studio, where the emerging artists learn new approaches, and support each other in a safe, creative and nurturing environment. These workshops stimulate a strong sense of pride and self-confidence in the young artists, and will also aid their transition into the adult world.
This shared experience has had an immediate effect on Freya. Prior to the formation of the collective, she had never drawn animals. However, after observing one of the other artist’s drawing elephants, she downloaded an image of a dog from the internet and immediately began to paint it. This was a huge change for a young woman who had previously only drawn abstract shapes. She is currently investigating screen printing options with her mentor.
The outcomes of the The Ripple Effect Project will be showcased during three exhibitions in August, and October/November 2018.
Way to go, Freya!
Image: Freya Toussaint, front row, second right, with the other artists who make up Art for Art’s Sake, along with their mentor