Sheridan Quigley on becoming an artist

Sheridan Quigley

To date, Create’s visual artist Sheridan Quigley has been involved in two projects: art:space for young carers and art:links for vulnerable older people. Here she talks about her experiences:

“I have always had art in my life.  My parents are artists, so I grew up steeped in it.  At school and university, though, I tried hard to be ‘normal’ – people’s perception of artists was that they were bohemian and flaky!  So I studied Modern Languages & European Studies and spent a large part of my working life in the City doing law and accountancy.  In my late twenties, I went to Central Saint Martins to do a part-time MA in Fine Art.  I only got into art properly about six years ago, though, and am now a painter/sculptor, working across a wide range of artforms.

I think what art brings to people is ‘the art of looking’.  The more you look, the more you notice and the more you want to understand.  Everything is fascinating.

I started working in community settings when someone from the De La Warr Pavilion in East Sussex saw a workshop I’d run for an afterschool club and asked me to run a project at a school based on ‘Utopia’.  I worked for a while as a teacher for ‘gifted & talented’ children and also for Creative Partnerships.

People learn better through a creative process – it’s all about the creative experience and using it to develop the whole person.

My favourite project so far has been creating a memory tree with the older people during art:links, being able to give them a different creative experience.  The new materials and techniques expanded their comfort zone and they made something amazing!  I really enjoyed building relationships with them over the 10 week project too – normally when you run workshops, you just see people for half a day!  The sense of continuity added a whole new dimension to the project.

I love the communities that Create chooses – I get to work with groups that don’t tend to have access to art and are often far removed from anything creative.”
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