“No matter how difficult it was for me to get out of my comfort zone and handle my study and life under the pandemic at Brighton, I found it worth taking the chance of moving from my home country to a completely new place for a new beginning… I was given huge support and encouragement from my course leader, lecturer, and a beloved mentor who taught me numerous valuable lessons and helped me become more confident in my path”
Hi Oanh – please tell us a bit about your work and your influences
“My work for the MA degree show is the creative response to the arts-based research project carried out from April to May with a non-verbal autistic artist. This project opened up an exploratory journey on how an inclusive art-making process can support the communication between autistic and non-autistic artists. Delivering 6 online workshops during the pandemic was a great effort that helped us to explore different kinds of materials via a virtual zoom. From the project, my creative response is most influenced by the exploration of the watercolour technique on Dó paper which is Vietnamese traditional paper made from the inner barks of Dó tree (Rhamnoneuron balansae) consisting of more than 100 steps in the production process. Using Dó paper allowed me to bring its history and cultural value into conversations with the English- speaking participants. Also, it is inspired by the way participants were interested in digital drawing that stimulated me to move my hand-painted artwork to an Instagram Layout App to collage and create patterns. My finished creative response is a combination of colour and text, traditional painting and spontaneous digital collage.”
How have you found your course and time at Brighton?
“No matter how difficult it was for me to get out of my comfort zone and handle my study and life under the pandemic at Brighton, I found it worth taking the chance of moving from my home country to a completely new place for a new beginning. Holding back all my curiosity to explore a new country, new culture, new people for the very first time living in a foreign country, I commit almost entirely to my studies. Luckily, I was given huge support and encouragement from my course leader, lecturer, and a beloved mentor who taught me numerous valuable lessons and helped me become more confident in my path. Also, I could not feel more grateful for all the best things my supportive fellow students did for me during my tough time before last Christmas. I appreciate the opportunity of being in a class with many talented students from diverse backgrounds. Together we could make it so far now.”
How did you choose your course – why did you choose to study IAP?
“Now I can say without hesitation that choosing to study the Inclusive Arts Practice course is the best choice I have ever made in my life. It seems like faith to my path.
“Before deciding to devote one year full-time for an MA program, I had 2 years working in the education sector and several community projects in arts and education. Since I initiated and ran the Art For Education project in Vietnam, I have become interested in socially engaged Arts practice. However, I was fully aware that what I have been doing is based on my personal experience and self-study that lacks a profound official training and professional arts background. I understand that pursuing an official Master’s Program will be of great importance for me to leverage my previous experience in art practice to a higher level. Holding my great empathy for the vulnerable groups and a dream of bringing arts access opportunities to them in mind, I searched several courses that focus on arts for social change and arts for marginalized groups. Then I found out the Inclusive Arts Practice Course that exactly matches my study and career plan. I also was impressed by my course leader Jayne Lloyd who has 15 years of experience in delivering creative projects in a range of health and social care, education, and community settings that I want to learn about.
“Importantly, the course accords me with the opportunity of being directly connected with Rocket Artists to collaborate and exchange creativity with those having learning disabilities. Such experience provides me with a practical collaborative working process, art facilitation skills, and key philosophies of inclusive practice suitable for transference to other community groups later in my future projects.”
What are your plans after graduation?
“My immediate post-return plan is to start some inclusive art projects with two main vulnerable groups: disadvantaged children in ethnic minority areas in Northern Vietnam and people having learning disabilities. I will work on the dream of building a creative and nature-friendly studio for holding inclusive art projects and workshops for disadvantaged children. In doing so, I hope that I could contribute a small effort into inspiring and bringing the power and beauty of arts to those who need to have equal opportunity accessing to the Arts.
“Additionally, because Inclusive Arts is a very new and confusing terminology in Vietnam’s context, I am eager to bring this way of working closer to the network of arts practitioners in my country and spread out the value of this practice to develop inclusive arts practice in Vietnam.”