Helen Walsh

HelenWalshPrimary Art Form: Textiles 

Professional Training & Experience:
BA(Hons) Embroidery from the Manchester Metropolitan University, Group Leader at The Heathlands Project, Co-Chair of artists’ collective Impecunious, I have worked with a wide variety of groups and organisations including Carlisle Mencap, Eden Mencap Society, BBC Blast and Rockcliffe Primary School.
Years of Experience in Primary Art Form: 10 years
 Delicate Stitches

Approach to the work/professional ethos

I am passionate about art and getting people involved in the arts. I believe in adapting my approach to suit the needs of the people I’m working with and finding new ways to enable people to explore and express their creativity. My aim is to use my own creative skills to support people to develop both artistically and personally.

Recent Work

Lead Artist: Studio Arts
September 2015-Present
Planning, organising and delivering the Prism Arts Studio Arts programme for young people and adults with disabilities, covering all aspects of working as an artist.

September 2016, Somme 100 Quilt Project
A partnership project between Prism Arts and Cumbria’s Museum of Military Life. We worked with schools and community groups to make patches to create a commemorative quilt for the centenary of the Battle of the Somme.  The work was unfurled on Armistice Day at Carlisle Castle.

June-July 2016, Soft Sculpture
Working with the Prism Arts/Carlton Day Centre Wednesday group to explore their ideas using soft sculpture techniques. The group designed and created their own quirky characters.

March-May 2016, Studio Theatre West Coast Viking Project.
Working with Prism Arts Studio Theatre West group and pupils at Distington Community School on a Heritage Lottery Funded project exploring West Cumbria’s Viking heritage. I ran spinning and weaving sessions with the participants.

Project Example 1

Recently I have been working with the No Borders Art Group from Carlton Day Service, Carlisle. The participants all have profound needs. During my 12 weeks with them we have explored a range of textile techniques including weaving, felt making, dyeing and bead making. The participants have chosen which processes interest them most and pursued these to create individual pieces of work. For inspiration we visited Farfield Mill (near Sedbergh) to see a textiles exhibition. This helped participants gain a sense of what other people do with textiles and how this could inform their own work.

Project Example 2

In the run up to the 2012 Olympics I worked with Rockcliffe C of E Primary School to create a 3D banner based on the rings. I worked with each class group, teaching each group a different printing technique (including screen printing, lino printing and collagraphs) which they used to make patches which were then sewn together to make the rings. The rings were then joined together to make the finished banner. As well as all the students in the school being involved their parents were invited to come and join in after school one night, trying the techniques out for themselves and contributing to the finished banner. The students then took the banner into Carlisle when the torch relay came through.


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