Meera Shakti Osborne

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Meera Shakti Osbourne led our first ROCK PAPER SCISSORS holiday club, instigating activities in Drawing Room’s empty gallery over Summer 2021. The group explored storytelling and character building using drawing, dance, movement, word and play. Each child developed their own personal narrative by making handmade books, inspired by the local neighbourhood and their everyday experiences. The sessions brought about conversations around identity and belonging whilst supporting the children’s social interactions and wellbeing. The two weeks ended with an exhibition, with children presenting their drawings and stories to their families!

Meera also led a ROCK PAPER SCISSORS Flatpack project during lockdown with 25 children from Townsend Primary, before the school reopened. Through postal and video exchange, Meera encouraged children to use drawing to translate their emotions into plants, animals and objects. One boy drew boredom as a stack of square shapes. Another represented hope as spring flowers. These playful drawing games gave children a way of processing their experience of the pandemic and allowed them to communicate their feelings to each other, in non-verbal ways. At the end of the project each child received a pack of printed postcards of everyone’s drawings to keep and share. On returning to the school, the children translated their drawings into a collective tapestry.

Meera Shakti Osborne graduated in Design for Stage, Central School of Speech and Drama, 2015, and Liberal Arts at CILAS in Cairo, Egypt, 2018. They current practice focuses on working with communities to tell stories through creative processes. Meera was awarded Arts Council Funding for ‘Making History’, an ambitious tapestry project taking place with diverse communities across the UK at venues including Stuart Hall Library, Iniva, Byker Community Centre and Boundary Women’s Project, 2019-2020. Other recent projects include Digital Tapestry, Peckham Platform, 2020; The Outside Project, Queer Youth Art Collective, 2020; Self-Love, Nottingham Refugee Forum, 2020; Built 4 Love, Nottingham Contemporary, Auto Cutie, Courtauld Institute of Art, 2019; Murder She Wrote, Black Tower Project, 2019.

Thanks to all involved:

Adamer, Arlinne, Carey, Danna, Maria, Maryam, Mia, Rhea, Riah, Rita, Roukaya and Tia

Children of Holiday Club

Children of Townsend Primary School

Akhera Williams, Workshop Assistant, Drawing Room

Esme Wedderburn, Workshop Assistant, Drawing Room

Issy Woodford, Year 5 Teacher, Townsend Primary School

Meera Shakti Osborne, Artist

Misty Ingham, Learning Curator Maternity Cover, Drawing Room

Sheyamali Sudesh, Learning Coordinator, Drawing Room

Solomon Williams, Workshop Assistant, Drawing Room