One of my summer projects from uni is to find work experience.
I had heard of the Meath charity before but someone I know told me about ArtHouse Meath and I was interested in what they do. What attracted me was because it is an charity that works with artists with complex epilepsy, which I am interested in.
ArtHouse Meath is a shop based in Godalming. They have a large online presence as well as stockists all over the country and in Europe. They have a large range of products from original canvases to products printed with the artists’ designs including cards, textiles, mugs and more. Inside the shop there is also an area for the Meath artists to work in, as well as space for people to package up the products.
Changing Perceptions is a social enterprise connected to the Meath charity, focusing on upcycling donated furniture. It grew from an activity at the Meath to a workshop on the High Street of Godalming.
Originally I worked at both places within one week, to find out what each work placement would offer.
The ArtHouse Meath gave me an overview of some of the work that is involved in a running an online, as well as a physical, shop, including packaging up online orders and preparing items for sale. I had to fold 100’s of cards and and put them in plastic sleeves. With the tea towels we had to fold them, package them and make sure the ArtHouse Meath information sticker was stuck in exactly the same place. We had to make sure we were precise and that every piece was neatly made. It was about paying attention to the details.
When I went to Changing Perceptions they taught me the basis of what they do and how they paint the furniture. They gave me a piece of furniture and asked me to do the final coat. They gave me a bit of guidance on which colour to use as someone had already bought it. They seemed pleased with my work and they offered to give me a project of a large piece of furniture, which I had creative control over. That offer led me to focus on volunteering with Changing Perceptions, rather than working with ArtHouse Meath, as it offered me more artistic freedom and an opportunity to create something of my own.