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Samina's Art Workshop

Colourful image fan

The artist who helps people explore their identity outside of their caring role

Posted: 2.3.23

Person mixing watercolour and using pastel creating a beautiful drawing of girl with flowers in her hair
Person mixing watercolour and using pastel creating a beautiful drawing of girl with flowers in her hair

The caring community is made up of all kinds of people from different walks of life and no two carers are the same or have identical experiences.

Samina’s situation is a case in point because as her mum’s unpaid carer, her role hasn’t always been recognised. “My mum has bipolar, COPD, fibromyalgia and other chronic illnesses and they all flare up at different times,” she explains.

“If she had a continuous illness maybe I would have an actual role, but she only needs my help at select times, so mine is an unrecognised role. Thankfully, Trafford Carers (TC) has always supported me and treated me as a carer.”

Samina’s mum, Margaret, is a very talented artist and was her first art teacher, Samina was always fascinated at the magic her mum was able to create through ball point pen, fine liner, paint brush and basically any medium her mum put her hand to. Samina’s priority being the well-being of her family has had an impact on fully forging a career.

“One of the things that first got me back involved with Trafford Carers was I got invited to this gathering at Bluesci aimed at women primarily from Asian backgrounds and that just lit me up, because they were saying ‘look we see your community. What can we do for you?’ There were a lot of language barriers and people not knowing what was available to them and that sparked this idea for the project.”

Inspired by the TC meeting, Samina saw a way to turn her circumstances into an opportunity – she applied for the ‘Develop Your Creative Practice’ Arts Council grant to create a body of work exploring the carer’s role, her application was successful.

“When I originally put in for funding, I wanted it to be primarily focused on people of Asian ethnicity because I’m half Pakistani,” she says. For research she launched a series of six creative well-being workshops for carers and cared for people, incorporating meditation and a range of taught mediums with the aim to develop a personalised wallpaper that distinguishes their identity outside of their caring role. “It’s really been an exploration of identity,” she says.

“It’s about what’s underneath this societal role and one of the key things will be an exhibition at Old Trafford Creative Space. I can’t stress the importance of having this exhibition because visibility is very important for carers. That’s something I’ve felt. That I’ve not been seen, and it is so important to highlight this.”

The TC workshops went so well that a further four were added to the programme. She employed relevant artists to co-facilitate and support the project to get the most out of the sessions, this included Michelle Olivier, Marianne Storer, Rabia Saleemi, Jane Brake and Eleanor Yates (all artists have been invited to show their work at the exhibition).

“Working with TC is a part of my research so I have a broader understanding of the carers role,” explains Samina. “From this research, I will go on to complete a body of work reflecting on my experience as a carer. After the success of the workshops, I hope to further this project and work with people in similar circumstances. To create artwork lights me up, I think I have found my calling.”

• The exhibition will take place on the 17 March at Old Trafford Creative Space, from 6pm.

Tagged with: #BAME #activities #Art

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