Playing With & For The Community
Kelly Lim and Jacquelyn Soo conducted a collaborative Weaving Art workshop over the month of April and which ended last weekend with a fun-loving, enthusiastic group of both male and female elderly in Renci Hospital.
It was the first time for the Elderly to try their hands at an art and craft workshop which involves lots of repeated hand movements, rolls and rolls of yarn and apparatus like a Nancy Loom tool, scissors and some Cd-roms. We also had volunteers in all our sessions to help with the workshop.
Kelly taught the first 4 sessions of the class, encouraging and instructing the Elderly on how to weave the yarn around the Nancy Loom which is made only of a basic toilet roll and some ice cream sticks. Jacquelyn taught the next 2 sessions of braiding and putting together the braids, yarns and other decorative weaving into the Cd -rom which they would be able to display beside their beds. The elderly also made some flower yarn brooches which they would pin onto their outfits.
The challenge of working with the elderly is that we have to learn to be extremely patient and tolerant of unexpected changes and twists during the duration of the workshop. Some elderly may want to stop the workshop mid-way as they are tired or are complaining of something. Some elderly may want not want to participant in the workshop at all. Some elderly would prefer to help out in other ways. As the Artists and Art Educators in the programme, we must not stick to our ways and insist to ourselves that we must complete a terrific job and have all works look impressive. It is important to remind ourselves that the elderly hands are only capable of working and doing things at a certain speed and outcome.
The workshop programme has now come to an end but the experience, memories and exposure that these elderly and the artists had shared are powerful indications of love, kindness, compassion and sincerity that the arts can make an impact on everyday lives.