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My Week at Helix Arts

Posted on: 15th July 2022

As part of my work experience I spent the week at Helix Arts. This short blog will tell you a little bit more about all of the exciting things that I got up to!

Day 1: Getting Started

As you can probably imagine, I was rather nervous to start my work experience placement. Travelling alone seemed to scare me the most – especially as someone who manages to find themselves getting lost easily! However, as soon as I arrived at the office my nerves disappeared. I was greeted by friendly faces who were keen to help me with anything I was unsure about. Katie swiftly set me up with my own work space for the week and showed me my timetable, which included lots of exciting events that you can read all about later in the blog!

Day 2: Origami Time

Day 2 began with a trip to the local library to help deinstall the Covid Stories art exhibition. Being able to see a real life example of the work Helix Arts helps support and organise was incredible, and the sense of community that it created was more than evident. Whilst I was there, I was even able to add my own small contribution to the project by making a little postcard! In the afternoon I visited NTAS II in Wallsend. Finding out that places like NTAS exist was brilliant, and talking to the people involved about the positive impact it has had was even better! Whilst there, I also got to make more origami Cranes4Ukraine as part of a project that aims to produce 10,000 paper cranes in support of Ukraine.

Day 3: Helping Hands

To begin with, I spent the day organising the archives: making lists of its contents and putting this on a spreadsheet. In the afternoon, however, I returned to Wallsend to take part in a creative mindfulness class with LDNE. The people and staff there were lovely and it ended up being one of the highlights of my week overall. As part of the session, we traced our hands and decorated them, writing something we liked about ourselves or enjoyed in each of the fingers. As you can tell from the image on the right, the people there were amazing artists!

Day 4: LOUDER

With a later start time on day 4, I arrived at the office at 13:30 to help begin the final preparations for the LOUDER project launch party. The final set-up for that ended up looking amazing, with a homemade red carpet at the entrance and a huge variety of snacks and drinks – there was even a table with bubbles! More importantly, the films created by the young people at the event were brilliant, dealing with heavy topics like sexual assault and domestic abuse in a very mature way; it definitely sparked conversation about a very important topic, which is something that is desperately needed throughout all generations.

Day 5: The Finale!

The final day began with adding to this blog! After lunch, however, I had the opportunity to visit the Bay Create Programme in Whitley Bay. As it was one of their last weeks working on their most recent project, I was able to clearly see all of the hard work take effect; they even let me make one of the feathers on the angel wings! On each of these feathers there is a positive message embedded in the tin, I chose mine to say “PEACE&LOVE”. The sense of community spirit there was almost tangible, and it was fantastic to see the way in which one simple art project was able to bring so many different people together! To conclude, my week here has been incredible. The vast range of people I met really proved that art is something that brings everyone together and I am truly grateful to all the staff at Helix Arts, NTAS II, LDNE and Whitley Bay Create for making this possible and an experience that I’ll never forget!

Cheryl Gavin, Director

“As ever, at Helix Arts, we respond to the circumstances and when I was approached urgently by Bedlington High School with a chance to be part of their pupils work experiences, I knew we had to. We are lucky to have formed plenty of amazing and trusted partnerships in North Tyneside, so our wonderful local community organisations helped us at speed to make sure Caitlin got opportunities to try and experience lots of different opportunities… and plenty types of projects with a wide range of people who we help. She has helped support work across planning, events, supporting sessions, sorting some of our archive and of course contributing to our website! I can’t wait to see if Caitlin becomes one of our volunteers in the near future!!”

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Five drawings of brightly decorated, traced hands arranged randomly across a table Five drawings of brightly decorated, traced hands arranged randomly across a table

LDNE Client

"What a lovely lass"

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Caitlin Dinning

"It's been an incredible experience. So lovely to meet new people and visit places I never even knew existed"

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