The Community Art Project

The Community Art Project (CAP) is an innovative and ground-breaking project that has been part of Darlington Borough Council's services for adults with learning disabilities since 2004. 

It is based at The Bridge, Visual Arts Centre on Hundens Lane.

If you would like more information about the CAP including enquiries about referrals or viewing or purchasing artwork, please contact:

Laurence Ward, Community Art Co-ordinator

0:10:17 - 0:49:08

Laurence Ward - Community Art Co-ordinator

The Community Art Project is one of Darlington Borough Council's day services for adults with learning disabilities

It's been running for many years now. It was initially set up as a NHS health funded project, but it passed over to the council's social services in 2006

We're now based at a building called The Bridge, which is on the corner of Yarm Road and Hundens Lane in Darlington.

People just come to us to try out various visual arts activities drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, digital arts, clay sculpture, whatever they want to do.

And hopefully they just find something they enjoy.

0:51:11 - 1:48:09

Heather - Support Worker

We have people who come who live in supported living and they come just purely to do their art and a bit of a social thing as well

We have quite a bit of a giggle and things as well.

It's not too serious, we don't take anything seriously

But then we have people who live alone with a little support or alone with no support, and for them we're a little bit of a link to help.

We quite often help people, especially some people who are struggling mentally as well.

We would quite often see at least two or three times a week we'll see somebody come in and they're quite uptight and they're a bit stressed because the gas bill has come in and by the time they go home they're nice and relaxed and they've managed to talk about things that are a problem.

While they're doing their art they relax away and then they can tell us their problems and we will quite often help them out with different things.

1:52:01 - 2:03:23

Victoria Bowman - Artist

I come to The Bridge to do artwork.

Some of my artworks are patterns and very detailed pictures

2:03:23 - 2:28:16

Emma Watson - Artist

The artwork that I like is drawing, painting and I like taking pictures of food.

I like getting my hands messy, I like clay and I like drawing on canvas.

It's, I like it because it makes me happy

2:32:12 - 3:05:13

Laurence Ward - Community Art Co-ordinator

We want people to enjoy their time here at the Community Art Project and to benefit from their experience in various ways.

So we encourage people to learn new skills and techniques and just gain confidence and self-esteem and help them to become more independent.

Wherever possible we have outcome based support plans so that we can show people's progression and achievements.

So we're not an art class where people are expected to follow a tutors instructions, we just aim to be person centred and to allow people as much choice and control over their own decisions as possible.

3:09:00 - 3:23:06

Cheryl Cordier - Artist

When I do the shapes I do a very careful and delicate drawing on it.

Then when I finish the drawing I do the painting, a really delicate painting right in there.

So I try not to go over the lines.

3:26:11 - 3:45:03

Laurence Ward - Community Art Co-ordinator

So most of the work we do here is just self-directed and we are just here to encourage and make suggestions and increase people's ambition as their confidence grows.

We want to value and celebrate difference and we encourage people to develop their own unique individual style.

3:50:02 - 4:03:20

Anne Smith - Artist

I do oil painting, watercolour painting, ink, charcoal, lino and mono-printing and claying.

4:08:15 - 4:22:03

Laurence Ward - Community Art Co-ordinator

So another aspect of the community art project is getting the artwork out to the wider world and seen by other people.

So we are always looking for opportunities to show the work in different settings and formats.

4:26:01 - 4:49:01

Cheryl Cordier - Artist

I’ve had paintings in the exhibitions and it's made me feel really proud and happy, and I enjoy it, putting our work in there.

At the moment, there's one in Brighton at the moment and then there's one in Darlington Building Society at the moment. So yeah, I'm proud of it.

4:52:20 - 5:37:01

Laurence Ward - Community Art Co-ordinator

We want to give our artists a positive, visible presence in the community.

We want to sort of broaden their horizons and raise their ambitions and we want our artists to prove to themselves that they can succeed and excel, particularly because the art world places such a high value on originality and individuality.

In many cases, this can mean significant achievements and memorable experiences for people.

And for us working at the Community Art Project it's really rewarding to see the artwork that's done here just get the recognition that it deserves.

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