The Voices Through Art project team have been busy during the summer, holding two workshops at the John Hansard Gallery in Southampton. The first workshop involved students from New Forest School and the second workshop included professionals from a range of settings. We wanted to seek a range of views and feedback for the development of our comics designed to support young people with their transition to a new school.
Led by inspirational art teacher and Assistant Head at New Forest School, Tracie Raufi, and graphic artist Sam Davies, the workshops started with everyone drawing their ideal sidekick and thinking about the qualities they wanted in them. All attendees got stuck in with this task, including our team members.
We also asked workshop participants to feedback on the first comic we created, as well as the next two comics that are currently in early draft form. Students discussed a need for humour to be woven into the comics yet stressed an individual’s humour is unique and what could be funny for one person might not qualify for another. They gave us some really great ideas for how students might signal to teachers that they need some time out or additional support.
Feedback from the professionals at the second workshop complemented many of the points our young people made, and also provided some good ideas for how the comics could be used to support conversations with young people, and in training sessions for teachers and other professionals.
Overall, the team was delighted with the outcome of both workshops. We have already begun utilising the feedback in refining our nect comics. We thank the John Hansard Gallery for allowing us to use their activities room for our workshop, New Forest Care for sponsoring the event, and all who attended our workshops and gave feedback.