The Diary of a Non-Artist

During the first week of August Tate Collective London ran Join Tate Collective, a 4-day project introducing new members to Tate, it’s staff and Collection through artist-led photography, music, fashion and performance workshops. New Tate Collective member Angela shares her experience with us…

It is the first day of my week at Join Tate Collective. From my interpretation of the emails sent through, it is supposed to be an introductory week, whereby we meet all the other young people who are interested in joining as well as get a feel of what is yet to come. Held for 15-25 year olds, this could be the next three years for me.

On the first day it hits me- it felt like my first day of school.

‘Who will I meet?  Will they be nice?  Will I fit in? Do I want to fit in? After all, I have never known much about art- what if I don’t understand anything anyone says regarding it?  Similarly, what if no one understands me? I am creative however not in the way they may be used to- will that be a problem?

Is it too late to regret making this decision?

Is it too early?’

But I was not disappointed.

We had the talented photographer Othello De’ Souza- Hartley talk us through his work on the first day, then explored the inner photographer in ourselves by taking our own photos in a workshop inspired by one of his commissions as a young photographer. We also had the pleasure of meeting Emmanuel, a current Tate Collective, who had a natural way of making me feel at ease; something I very much appreciated.

Workshop with photographer Othello De'Souza-Hartley

New Tate Collective recruits took part in a photography workshop with artist Othello De’Souza-Hartley

Over the following three days we met fashion designer Sadie Clayton (slash science connoisseur), who led a workshop in making our own pieces of jewellery using copper (see why?), music producer Shem Lawrence from Blackmale Beats, who led a sampling workshop which enabled us to create our own beats using samples.

We also had the pleasure of meeting Tate Collective members during the week, including Rupinder, Tariq and Laura, who held their own workshops to get us creatively thinking before the artist workshops, and were honest in their answers to our questions. The same can be said for the guest visits from Tate staff; they all had a passion for what they did, and gave us all an insight into a world that spans beyond the natural artist.

Emmanuel from Tate Collective leads a session

Emmanuel from Tate Collective leads a session

Halfway through the week a summery BBQ with some of the Tate Collective members we hadn’t met yet got us all eating and boogying- simultaneously of course. I think we really enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere it presented; everyone felt special and accepted in his or her own right.

The most significant lesson I came across this week is that there are no limits in the art world. For me, an individual who saw art and the love of it being limited to those who can create a masterpiece with a pencil and/or a paintbrush, I didn’t believe it to be limitless because I wasn’t inclined in that way. Talking to Tate staff as well as the wider collective has broken that notion – I can actually say that I can be as creative as I want to be, and I’m thankful to have finally found an environment, which can allow me to do just that.

By Angela Wereko-Anderson