GemArts and Gateshead Visible Ethnic Minorities Support Group run regular sessions at Bensham Grove Community Centre in Gateshead. This project worked with an intergenerational group which enables mothers and grandmothers from diverse communities’ opportunities to engage in participatory activities with their children.

Artist Jayamini De Silva, chose 7 of the Top 50 Diverse Voices books to share with Bensham community group to inspire and create art works on the theme of home. The vivid, colourful patterns in Goggle Eyed Goats inspired the group to think about the patterns and colours of their homes. Using felt tip pens, crayons, coloured pencils, acrylic paints and brushes, bamboo sticks and coloured patterned stickers, they recreated colours and patterns of their homes, past and present in the UK and memories home countries.

“We do lots of different activities; play game , make things, we do drawing, painting and burn candles to Buddha.” Nuyara, age 11

“I love giraffes, they remind me back home in Nairobi…” Gurdeep (Auntie) created beautiful giraffe patterns using brown paints on yellow card.

“This reminds me of one of my cloth patterns back home in India.” Indu (grandmother) created a colourful pattern with pencils and pains on a black card.

Over the Hills and Far Away – everyone enjoyed drawing, painting, writing and singing nursery rhymes and we found that was a great theme to work with. Indi introduced an Indian rhyme called “Chanda me thru” and we wrote it down in Punjabi, Indian and Sinhalese with help from other participants. Maneesha, age 9, drew a beautiful picture to her grandma’s own rhyme in Punjabi language.” Jayamini De Silva