Such a journey! Attending the drop-in to distribute leaflets for the forthcoming days when Howard would attend with me, I noticed a photo on the noticeboard of someone who had drawn with me a couple of weeks before, requesting information as his body had been found in woods over Easter. He had been a vulnerable man, just 37, with many issues to deal with, that had sat with me a few times, drawing quietly and steadily, discussing his mother, his school days and how much he had liked to draw. I have included one of his little monoprints above in his memory. His name was Brendan.
The mood in the drop-in had been understandably low for quite awhile when I arrived with Howard to take up residence for two days, but what a two days! With drop in art activities drawing people over, conversations opened up possibilities again and again as Howard encouraged conversation to become lyrics, scribbling down notes as participants began to explore the pattern of their voices evolving into melodies. Howard then teamed up with the regular staff member who offers music activities and people began to move to the recording area and expand on their work with percussion etc
In the drop-in area people coming in off the street sat down to draw and chat, one man lying on the floor next to the Perspex screen I had brought in, drawing in white marker and saying “I’m having fun, I’m happy– I don’t want to put the pen down to eat my dinner!”
Staff members danced out of the kitchen and round the table saying, “there is so much joy in the drop-in today”. Five or so songs were written with Howard over the two days and will continue to be worked on. What a privilege to share in the process.