art for all

We are the possibility of self-expression, wellness, connection and community

Testimonials from 'The RENA initiative presents: The WoWC' art exhibition

Jazz Browne, Chief Executive at Nubian Life

“It was a much needed representation of the creativity of residents in the North of the borough, who are often talked about in term of health inequalities, unemployment and crime. To see this burst of creativity was beautiful, inspiring and evidence that social policy needs to focus more on arts and wellbeing. It will be a lost opportunity to develop community resilience by not repeating/expanding the project.” 

Priya Pallan, Imperial College Community Engagement Manager

“Inspiring and heart-warming. The exhibition felt truly local and exemplified what being part of a community means. I enjoyed how the women hosted the event and talked about their work and the empowering journey they went through utilising art as a medium to work through their life experiences – you can tell that everyone is looking forward to continuing their journeys and i can’t wait to see what’s next!” 

Testimonials from Beneficiaries of 'The RENA initiative presents: The WoWC'

"I have enjoyed my creative art sessions with The RENA Initiative presents: The WoWC Create&Connect. Learning about fabulous artists has been informative and inspiring. I haven't painted since my school days and I've loved every moment. All the participants have created superb artwork. A big thank you to Mellezia for creating such a great space for females, for uplifting , helping and challenging us all to just let our hands and minds flow on paper. I recommend to ALL and would love to participate in the future." #LoveTheBlackness #Love2All
Anikka
Beneficiary (July 2020)
"I love the art classes. I look forward to seeing what we will be doing each week. I really like the way you teach. Each week I am excited to learn more information about the artist you've introduced me to. You have stretched my creativity and I am very pleased with what I am creating as a result. I have found the sessions to be very theraputic. Two more friends are interested to join the classes due to how I talk about the sessions. A very big thank you to you."
Beryl
Beneficiary (July 2020)
"It's been a steady beating heart, a stabilising presence amidst chaos and confusion. Being part of a creative group that doesn't judge how you feel about anything including what you're drawing and painting is so refreshing. We support and encourage each other daily through our WhatsApp group sharing pictures of our work. If anyone misses a session through illness or other unforeseen circumstances, they aren't left feeling abandoned. We get in touch to see if they want to do a piece separately or just join in the following week. Its warmth, inspiration, and kindness has helped me feel valued, loved and connected at a very difficult time. I feel enabled rather than a disabled pensioner waiting for hip surgery. There are only two groups l have trusted to share my story with. This is one of them. Mellezia is an extraordinary teacher, patient, caring and has the best smile. When you see her on screen you concentrate on it and let all your worries mix into the paint so you can transform it into something more worthwhile, a thing of beauty."
S.I.
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“I have been housebound for over 5 years now. I only go out if someone takes me in the wheelchair so I don't get to make new friends. I'm in pain a lot of the time so doing it this way (via Zoom) is so PERFECT for me, as I meet new people and get to do art, which I'm loving. If I had to go to the session, I don't think i would be able to do it as getting there would be a problem. I was nervous on first session but I had nothing to be nervous about, I was put at ease right from the start. Lovely group of ladies. x ”
N.M.
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“This project has been a fundamental reference point in staying connected with others, especially during the current climate of COVID. Having the time to explore and express coping strategies via art has given me a sense of ‘who I am’ and ‘belongingness’.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
In all my 70 years of life I always thought I had no creative bones in my body. The WoWC has given me a new found confidence. During the Covid-19 pandemic this has been such a lifesaver for me. When I’ve felt stressed or overwhelmed I’ve taken out my colouring books, supplied by the WoWC, spending time being creative. I’ve loved the sense of community and look forward to the workshop each week.”
B.F.
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“Some easy time with others, shared joy and laughter, learning techniques, guidance and inspiration. Rediscovering my creativity. Mellezia has been my creative angel. Thank you.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“It has restored hope that women from all backgrounds can come together and consistently produce amazing artwork in a harmonious group.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“It has helped me feel less alone and marginalised. The only people l see regularly are on screen. I look forward to seeing my ladies. Their faces/messages are far more welcoming and accepting than some of my closest friends l had before lockdown. That has surprised me and for me it's the strongest evidence of how the warm and inviting personality of our teaching host has imbued everyone with the feel good factor, lifting our spirits every day with her emoji punctuated messages in our WhatsApp group.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“After each session I feel hopeful and purposeful.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“I run an organisation which is a community of people living with, caring for, or a practitioner working with dementia to promote and deliver activity for brain health. Art, music, knitting are among a huge number of ways to contribute to brain health and taking part in the project is not only helping me to develop my confidence in sharing art activities, but also enabling an understanding of the way Mellezia works in order that she can bring her ideas, enthusiasm and experience to providing workshops for our community.”
C.M.
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“I totally love this class. I find it so therapeutic. It has helped me to see how Covid-19 has impacted me and it has made me express my feelings via art. It has renewed my interest in art and after the session I repeat what I have done in the lesson. I have discovered a talent that I have not seen before.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“During a global pandemic I am still able to enjoy a social life and be creative in ways I wouldn’t of thought of.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“A safe, relaxed, joyous, uplifting... so many more positive words possible... atmosphere where Mellezia and her gorgeous helpers totally dispel any possible worries, fears or ill ease.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“I so look forward to Thursday's art classes. It's such a happy group. We are all learning and at the same time relaxing and expressing ourselves through art.”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“The course allowed freedom of expression in a healthy and therapeutic way, a way that allows creativity and stillness in the brush to acknowledge feelings and this in itself begins a healing and change process.”
E.S.
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“Feel safe & valued in a nurturing space that will allow you to tap into your self expression”
Anon
Beneficiary (July 2020)
“Wow Wow to the WoWC. The project has given me two hours of self-care.”
D.O.
Beneficiary (July 2020)