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Belgrade Arts Gymnasium Reflections by Sammy Wan

Author: Debra James   27th June 2017

To listen to Sammy’s audio please click here

It has been a wonderful journey to be part of the Arts Gymnasium Shine On group and my placement has extended to a rich experience that has greatly influenced me as a musician and aspiring arts practitioner.

I was given the freedom to explore and bring my ideas into the sessions to see how music can be integrated with theatre practice. The beauty of community arts is that it is a two way creative process that feeds into one another. It was fascinating to watch the participants respond to the various emotions of music that I composed, at the same time I drew inspiration from the characters and stories they created.

It is great to have witnessed the whole process and how it all came together at the showcase. It all started just by observing characters on the streets and with their amazing imagination and creativity, they created such rich and different characters with very captivating and some humorous monologues!

I would describe the arts gymnasium group as a garden of creativity where we support each other and grow together. This concept was sparked by looking at videos of participants forming a tree as a group in one of the activities in the sessions. I am very grateful to have been part of the ‘tree’ in the flourishing ‘garden’ that is nurtured by our facilitators. Not only have I observed how the participants built up their confidence over the sessions, personally, it has greatly helped me to realise my potential as a composer as well.  We were all rather uncertain and not as confident with the characters initially, but with the encouragement to experiment and try out ideas, we all created something beautiful for the showcase!

In relation to what I have mentioned about the ‘garden’, here is a piece that I created based on the recording of ‘forming a tree’ in the arts gymnasium session. To listen to the audio please click here

‘Garden of Creativity’

I believe we need to keep building this creative ‘ecosystem’ in our community as I have personally experienced and witnessed the positive impacts that it brings to participants as well as artists ourselves.

To listen to the audio please click here

To read more about the Arts Gymnasium Project please visit the project page

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