Friday, 18 May 2012

The Colours of Happiness

I am lucky enough to have four jobs and one of the happiest is being organiser of a local Day Centre or The Hudson Road Friendship Club, as we prefer to be called. Trying to keep our days filled with activities that are enjoyable for all is one of my greatest challenges. This week, however, it was easy!
Alex Grant of Toozalii Art, is running an amazing venture - The Sunshine Project, where he plans to fill the Cloisters of Salisbury Cathedral with huge Batik banners painted by hundreds of older people in Wiltshire.

He is an inspirational artist and soon managed to convince us all that we could create a thing of beauty.

Because of the use of raised wax in batik even our blind members could feel the lines and paint between them.

My wonderful volunteers had as much fun as the guests! I certainly did...

We decided to paint two banners, filled with the things that make us happy. One is a house in in the countryside, beneath the bright sun

The other tea, cakes and... champagne!

Please be impressed by the bottle, my own particular addition!
 Once we got over the fear of making mistakes and the strange nervousness that overtakes adults when faced with painting, it was such an exhilerating feeling-

The air of concentration was palpable

In a very short time the banners were done

They look truly beautiful when hung up, with the silk rippling in the breeze. I can't wait for September, when the whole collection is shown together.
It taught me once again, that you are never too old to learn something new. Making the banners brought us all together and lifted our spirits and our hearts.

I think the smile on Phyllis's face sums it all up.
Thank you Alex.

ps. Apologies for my lack of visits to my blog-friends' posts. I miss your thoughts, stories and photographs. Its just that life has been more than ususally hectic...


  1. Hello Jane:
    What a truly wonderful and inspirational project and one which, judging from your pictures, everyone entered into, after initial uncertainty, with great enthusiasm. And it would seem that all those who took part derived a great sense of satisfaction from being part of a team effort. The champagne bottle is, of course, noted!!

  2. How lovely! It's true - older people often feel uncertain when learning something new, but they all obviously enjoyed themselves and created a thing (or two things) of beauty! Well done to all.

  3. Such bright colors! Hope you'll give us a tour when they're all hung!

  4. This is just a wonderful post Jane.

  5. P. S. Your header is beautiful.

  6. Four jobs Jane - I don't know how you do it! What a very rewarding and enjoyable activity for the friends to do together. Will you be able to take photo's when the banners are hanging in the cathedral? Hope you have a lovely weekend. Its sunny in Sussex at last. Karen X

  7. Hi Jane! What a fantastic initiative and "THE" bottle I think it must be Prosecco... wow! The bottle is just fantastic! Very well done! CIN, CIN!

    It's lovely to witness, once again, the miracle of art: it produces love and positive vibes and brings people together. Everyone looks happy! A wonderful project, Jane!




  8. I'm just going to have to say a quick hello and thank you to my lovely blog friends who have left me such kind comments. Something has come up ( nice, luckily) that means I'm rushing around like a mad thing! Jane xxx

  9. Gosh, some of those paintings are fantastic. I agree, a wonderful project. Very inspirational.