Friday 13 December 2013 by Jigsaw NI
On 6th December 2013, the “Identity” art exhibition and the unveiling of Jigsaw NI’s “Four Seasons” mural in the main hall of Divis Community Centre took place.
Jigsaw NI applied and received funding from the National Lottery through the Arts Council of NI (small grants programme) to run a 12 week art project with an exhibition at the end. The project involved 5 art groups (2 in West Belfast, 2 in East Belfast and 1 group in Bangor), which are made up of service users with varying types and levels of disabilities. The groups meet for two hours each week in local community centres.
Artists (Shauna McCann, Maria Duddy and Betty Brown) with specific skills in different mediums such as ceramics, mosaic and mural painting worked with the service users over the 12 week period. The art form/technique used by each service user focused on their particular strengths and the final pieces of work exhibited were great.
The mural consists of four jigsaw pieces that slot together, with each one dedicated to a certain season and style of Art. Four of the groups worked on a jigsaw piece each and the fifth group completed the title/strapline, to let all know who created the piece.
The individual pieces are a combination of 2 dimensional and 3 dimensional work and allowed the participants to express themselves freely in an art form they preferred. Each participant had at least one of their best works displayed at the exhibition for all to see and everyone was very impressed with the finished pieces.
The “Four Seasons” mural was unveiled by Charles Ware, Chairperson of Jigsaw NI. This was the first time service users viewed the completed mural, as each group would only have seen their own piece up until the unveiling. Charles congratulated all the groups, volunteers and artists on the beautiful mural, thanked the National Lottery through the Arts Council of NI for funding the project and thanked Divis CC for housing the mural and for their continued support to Jigsaw NI. He finished off with a special thanks to the 3 artists and a small presentation to them took place.
When first approached by Clare McQuiston, manager of Jigsaw NI, Edel Murphy, small grants officer for the Arts Council for NI, said that she was very keen for Jigsaw NI to put in an application. Edel attended and spoke at the exhibition saying “I am not surprised to see the great work on display; I knew it would be of a high standard.” Edel congratulated all involved with the project; saying she “hoped to see another funding application in from Jigsaw NI soon.”
Participant Paul McCourt said: “When I was first diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2010, I could not accept that I had it. I was referred to Cedar who later referred me to Jigsaw NI. I owe so much to Jigsaw NI and Shauna for encouraging me and helping me gain confidence again. I really enjoyed doing this project.”
Participant Wendy Bradley added: “I had a brain hemorrhage back in 2002. Jigsaw NI have treated me as an individual, not as the problem other services seem to find me. Jigsaw NI live their mission statement.”
Praising the participants, volunteers and artists involved Clare McQuiston (Manager of Jigsaw NI) said: “This was such a worthwhile project for all involved. Congratulations to the participants, volunteers and artists, the exhibition pieces and mural look great. So much time and effort has been put in and looking around, it has all been worth it. Well done to all involved and thanks again to the funder National Lottery through the Arts Council for NI.”
Photos attached: Four Seasons mural and some of the individual pieces from the exhibition.
Friday 24 May 2013 by Jigsaw NI
17th May 2013 was the date of the unveiling of an exciting new mural above the door of the Immaculata Boxing Club in Lower Falls, west Belfast.
The mural, funded by Jigsaw NI and Belfast City Council throughDivis Community Centre, took 6 months to complete under the expert guidance of Shauna McCann, artist.
Jigsaw NI works with adults with varying disabilities. The Jigsaw NI Friday art group meets in Divis Community Centre situated just next door to the Boxing Club on a weekly basis.
“I thoroughly enjoyed taking part in the design of the mural, it was very good to see everyone take part” commented Cecilia Donnelly, a member of Jigsaw NI.
Artist, Shauna McCann had nothing but praise for those who took part.
“It was such a worthwhile experience for those involved,” she said. “It is a mixed ability group, but we made use of everyone’s skills and everybody contributed to the overall piece.”
Clare Lagan, Jigsaw NI manager commented “This was a great project for our Friday Art group, bringing together the individual skills the service users have, to produce a personalised mural for the Immaculata Boxing club. It is nice that the work of Jigsaw NI is displayed in a public place for all to see and appreciate. Jigsaw NI wish Immaculata Boxing club every success and we hope the mural brings them Luck!”
Immaculata Boxing Club member, Nugut added, “It’s wonderful the Jigsaw NI group and Boxing Club came together in this project, we are very grateful for the hard work the Jigsaw art group put in and very proud the mural is now above the door of the club for all the community to see.”
Photo attached: Members from both the Immaculata Boxing club and Jigsaw NI art group stand under the new mural.
Thursday 16 May 2013 by Jigsaw NI
Jigsaw NI’s team “Mary’s Mates” were back to playing at their best and won the Sam Hunter boccia tournament in what was a very tight final winning by one single point. There were 15 teams entered into the Sam Hunter boccia tournament which took place on Thursday 9th May 2013 at the Spectrum Centre. Clare Lagan, Manager of Jigsaw NI, said “Mary’s Mates have won this tournament 3 out of the last 4 years, with another Jigsaw NI team winning it last year, meaning that Jigsaw NI teams have won it for 4 consecutive years. This is a brilliant achievement, one that has never been done before in the lifespan of the tournament. The group get great enjoyment and excitement from their weekly session and it is obvious that they are improving all the time. Well done and congratulations to all the teams, especially “Mary’s Mates.”
All teams enjoyed their day out and Jigsaw NI would like to thank Boccia NI for organising the tournament.
Photo attached: Winning team – Mary’s Mates with Jigsaw NI Manager Clare Lagan.
Thursday 28 March 2013 by Jigsaw NI
Supported by Lloyd’s TSB Community Grant programme
Jigsaw NI received funding from Lloyd’s TSB Community Grant programme to develop a new Boccia group in East Belfast, further develop the existing groups in West Belfast and Bangor, and run a Boccia tournament for all three groups to compete in the first ever Jigsaw NI Boccia tournament.
The tournament took place on Thursday 21st March 2013 in Connswater Community and Leisure. There were 9 teams competing between the three groups. Each team played against 3 other teams with their scores added up from each game to make their final total. A lot of the games were very tightly fought, but the overall winners were ‘The Puzzlers’ from the Bangor group.
Clare Lagan, Manager of Jigsaw NI, said “Boccia is a very popular activity/sport with our service users and is enjoyed very much by those in the groups. Receiving the funding from Lloyd’s TSB has given Jigsaw NI the opportunity to introduce the sport to so many new people and also to hold its first ever Boccia tournament. It is great to see our service users from different groups coming together to compete in a sport that they enjoy. Thank you to Lloyd’s TSB and to all who made the tournament and overall project a success.”
Photo attached – The winning Puzzlers team with Alison Moss (Jigsaw NI Programme Co-ordinator).
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