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My Work Has Captured Someone's Attention!

I've been coming here since late 2015, as a member of Crisis. I get to use the Studio and other different workshops - like using the computers and other activities. At the start I was a bit worried about coming here – it took me a while to get used to the place, and then people started knowing me and there was more trust. Like at the beginning I was just not sure what I'm doing here!


With time I've got used to coming to the arts. The art classes - some of them were structured and some of them were drop-in sessions. So after two years, I had an exhibition. The exhibition was called 'Transient City' and it was about Oxford, how we perceive this place as people who live here or visitors from outside.


The idea of having an exhibition was supportive because I've got all these art works and I'm not doing anything with them. I thought, I was doing art for a couple of years, and I was just not getting anything out of it. I thought I was just doing it and then had to keep it myself.


I got some help with setting up the exhibition, we had to find frames and then get them framed - it was a bit difficult for me because at the time I didn't have money to buy frames, and I was a bit like, worried about whether to have the exhibition or not. Crisis was very supportive in buying the frame for me and then paid back afterwards once the painting sold. And Becki helped with the display - putting the art works on the wall, knowing how the hanging system works.


I had about ten artworks on display and I sold three of them. That was really positive. It was exciting when I found out that I had sold a few in the first week - I thought I'd never sell any of these paintings, probably because I had a misconception about my own work - I just don’t quite like my own work. I want it to be better- perfect! Then when I found out they had sold, it was just like, yeah, so it’s working! So it has captured someone's attention. Not just that it was sold, but that somebody wanted it! It kind of gave me a bit more confidence to do more paintings in the future. I think with the culture where I come from people don’t really attach anything to art and paintings. When I had my exhibition and then heard people really like this art and get really attached to them – it was great.


I thought it'd just be great to have another exhibition because it was so positive. I was meant to do another exhibition at the Churchill Hospital last month, but because I didn’t have the budget to put the exhibition on, I had to drop the idea, and then maybe do it next year. But, my mental health just doesn’t really help - I don’t know how I will be, or if I will want to do more paintings then.


I think having an exhibition here is very good also because you kind of use that as a reference to go and have exhibition elsewhere. The only thing is that it is very competitive and if you have want to have an exhibition you have to wait. It can get you very depressed sometimes - as an artist it’s just really hard.


I did the Arts Training Scheme – I think it was for three months, I can’t remember. I had some very good sort of mentorship, from a few people here - they were showing me how to do the cashing up and how to use the system to do various things, so I think I gone away with a lot of support. It was great to kind of see how everything works. It seems very complicated from the outside, and then when you get on the system it’s really simple things. It was useful, I filled my CV in, for a future reference. I think the idea of having this training scheme is good. It was kind of worth it for me because I was here and I was doing the arts and coming here for two hours just to do some admin was very good because I got the training as well as learning the new, latest database.

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