TheArtsPractice
 Workshop  for Newham Asian Women's Project
 TheArtsPractice
TheArtsPractice TheArtsPractice TheArtsPractice

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Welcome to The Arts Practice

 

Thanks for dropping by!

This site represents a snap-shot of the work that I have covered as a freelance professional and in collaboration with associates over the previous 25 years! The main- focus of The Arts Practice is on ‘facilitating the development’ of others. That work and my other projects have been wide-reaching, from working with Newham Asian Women’s Project (NAWP) in East London, to doing time as the West midland’s first Regional Coordinator/Programmer for ‘England’s leading performance poetry organisation’ Apples & Snakes, from being a Resident Artist at Yorkshire Dance to a great contract of corporate Training & Role Play work facilitating the development of Mid-Senior Management for ODPM (Office of Deputy Prime Minister) under John Prescott's administration. I’ve been commissioned as a writer at the Birmingham Rep theatre; collaborating and touring with international acapella group 'Black Voices' and am most known for playing 'Tasha',  Birmingham’s only black Goth in 'Rudy's Rare Records' for four series with Lenny Henry and Larrington Walker on BBC Radio 4 (comedy). I later toured with 'Rudy's' (as original cast member) to The Birmingham Rep and Hackney Empire. There’s been a lot of firsts. Much of it has felt like reliving the first day of school (where mum invested in a blazer when I didn't need one and I had to carry my own desk to my new portacabin class room, that they hadn't bothered to have ready in time for my arrival). Goodness am I glad to have graduated from all that…

I have more recently been completing an MA in Theology and Transformative Practice. What’s that got to do with the arts and facilitating the development of others?  Well quite a bit it turns out. I found out I was always quite concerned about the flourishing of others, from very early on, people would share their intimate bits of writing/poetry, narrative with me, before I had titles such as mentor/facilitator/coordinator/ 'theologian'(?) or anything else- just as me-but It always seemed to take on a ministerial /spiritual dimension, I was always wanting their spirit to soar!  When working with [emerging] artists, or anyone looking to express their creativity for that matter, I have always been acutely aware that their flourishing/well-being mattered too. 

Holistically, they are on a ‘journey’... 

But then so am I and my own flourishing also matters.  For me, facilitating others means pausing your own narrative to ‘breast feed’ the story of others. It’s been important to ‘give voice to the voiceless’ but my own narrative became muted. In some ways it arrested my own development. Through my MA work, I stumbled on Auto-ethnography as a research methodology and a brilliant way of telling my own narrative, whilst representing the collective black British female lived experience. I am giving voice to an authentic slice of black British identity and spirituality. But it is my story, no matter how it speaks to and of the collective; so that others might identify with it.   I am enjoying that journey at present. It is another era for me. I will always want to facilitate the growth and authentic expression of others, it's part of who I am; just not to the detriment of facilitating my own growth and flourishing.  I also look forward to sharing that authentic loveliness in what-ever form it manifests in the future, be it book, song, poem, article, over a glass of cheeky red wine or in the silences. I love the silences. It doesn't mean that I have fallen off the edge of the planet, but it speaks to the funky monastic side and that's important too! It’s not ‘hip’ to be Christian right now. Fortunately I'm not trying to be cool or 'down' with anyone.  Some would say I have no business being both artistic and a theologian as a black woman, I mean just 'who do I think I am?' But that's where I have ended up; doing an extended piece of work both academic and artistic/creative asking that very question via womanist theology.

I am excited to see where the next part of the adventure takes me. Perhaps we will share stories in another space, time or dimension. In the mean-time, please enjoy this space whilst it exists. As I am transforming, the space will too...until it no longer serves a purpose. 

Natasha

 

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