Category Workshops

English National Opera, London, UK

Yesterday we went to the event ‘What are we doing to make the opera industry truly reflect the diversity of the country, on and off stage?’ at English National Opera studios in London.

I love D&D introduction, no matter I’ve heard it zillion times – the time/space matrix, all the principles, the law, the bumble bees and butterflies behaviour – also all the animals in our break out spaces, our big circle, I love it all!

I made 5 dolls inspired by the sound of everybody’s voices.

Thanks Phelim, Sarah, Ben, Anabel and everyone for another day we spent together surrounded by good conversations, thank you!

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Shoreditch Town Hall, London, UK

We spent yesterday at the D&D event ‘What can role-play gaming and theatre learn from each other?’ at Shoreditch Town Hall in London.  

In the morning we played the Dungeon & Dragons game, it was my first time ever. I joined Chris table, he was the Dungeon Master, a kind of facilitator of the game. We played a couple of hours creating a story together. I could see all the scenes, actions and characters, Chris made us visualise perfectly well everything, he was a brilliant DM. 

My character was an Elf Wizard. She lives over 700 years, she can make people sleep, she meditate deeply and live in the world but not entirely part of it. Isn’t it an amazing coincidence with the dolls’ project?

In the afternoon we did the other D&D, the Open Space one, and I called my session :

‘Help me to put dreams and a heart into my dolls. I might be travelling around other sessions, you can help me anyway.’ 

I was amazed by the game and wanted to join all the conversations. I did one doll in each session I went. Justin helped me make one doll which he half filled with dreams, put a heart and meditated, I completed it at home. We made 5 dolls in total. 

We spent an amazing day together, such an adventure, some people like me had never played D&D before, we loved it. Thank you Chris and Chloe and all the others who shared their long experience with the game, hopefully I’ll see you soon and play it more. Thanks Justin for helping me making dolls and Alex and Ben for holding the space for us, thank you!  

 

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Royal Academy of (He)Arts, London, UK

I was amazed when I saw this huge doll’s heart floating in front of RA, it is our big heart, the heart of all of us together, incredible!  

 

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Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

Friday 1st June we went to InPractice at RA, an event where creative people facing barriers accessing the art world share their practice with others.

We were honoured to be one of the first groups to inaugurate the brand new Clore Learning Centre in the new refurbished building of RA.  

The artists presentation were very inspiring, it gives us hope to keep going wherever struggle we are facing in life, they give us such amazing example of positivity, it is a bliss to be with them and share our experiences. 

It was a very busy evening with many people interested to make dolls while we were listening to the artist’s talks. Toria, Sarah, Nicola, Juliet, Nora, Dina, Keith, Janny, Silvia, Sylvie, Juliette, Elys, Barbara, Maria, Tom, Eliz came, we made 16 dolls, 3 of them I finished off at home and most of them I sewed the legs.  

Some comments:

‘Making a body full and firm, then locating the heart, made me think of all the dreams we have that make us what we are. Brilliant.’

‘I shall miss my doll. I feel we could have been very good friends.’

‘I loved making my joyful dream-doll. Thank you.’ 

‘It might be like the doll of the story ‘Vasilisa the Beautiful’, the doll that helps in all sorrows, and it works.’

I love to receive people in the group, they arrive at different times, they are at different moments of the process with different needs, I take care of every doll so they don’t get lost, and when it becomes a bit calmer I take some photos and sometimes I remember to ask them to write down their comments about their experience… I love that buzz!

Thank you Molly for organising this amazing event, it is such a privilege to join the group, thank you.

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Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, London, UK

Last Sunday I went to the (B)old Festival at Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre in London.

It was a beautiful sunny day, lots of people along the river enjoying the sun. When I saw it I didn’t expect anybody to come and stay indoors with me at the market making dolls under an artificial light. I thought I would have four hours to make dolls on my own really.

There were music and dance activities at the foyer where the market was, I guess these activities attracted people to enter and look around, they found me and actually I didn’t stay for a second on my own. Steph, Rosa, Sheila, Wonchul Jung, Wei, Jared, David, Hyangmi Won, Erin and Yaanjo came and we made 11 dolls together.

We talked about many things including how much the weather influences a culture in so many levels, one of us studied geography,  we are people determined by how much sun we get. Well, in my experience as a tropical woman, it feels like here is another planet, the more I adapt the more I feel the differences, at the same time, I see how much we are absolutely the same. I feel we are determined by how much sun light we have inside, how much conscious we are, the sun can shine inside us anywhere.

Helen, the coordinator of the festival, was lovely, I felt very much looked after, it was amazing!

Some comments

‘Spreading love and a sense of united humanity, also a fun experience.’

‘A lovely experience, such wonderful idea and a way of bringing people together, so positive, a way of helping others. Brilliant mindfulness exercise.’

‘After I finished making the doll, I felt that the heart of the doll started to run while I was meditating. My doll is no longer a doll. It’s a very touching experience.’

‘Paying attention to your hands, heart, breathing and mind all together at the same time. I enjoyed it.’

‘It was a very peaceful experience. The making process takes long time but I enjoyed it. I hope that the sound of my heart is in the heart of the doll.’

‘I liked stuffing and sewing the doll and meditating.’

‘It was a great unexpected pleasure to make a doll. Every moment was very relaxing and enjoyable, thank you.’

Many thanks for everybody who organized the festival, for everybody who came to the workshop, for the hope I always feel when I am with people making dolls, for all the conversations and for this project which is the most inspiring school in my life, thank you!

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RADA Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, London UK

Yesterday evening I went to the D&D event ‘What can we do to better support diverse drama school students whilst in training’ at RADA Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London.

Louis, Becky, Valerie and Sarah came to make dolls. They started but I finished most of them, 5 dolls in total.

I was asked about their colour, it usually happen, they are the colour of our bones, no matter our skin colour, we are the same bones.

I suddenly realised that if we were robots we wouldn’t make these dolls. It felt like an insight, a live truth, it made me happy.

I guess I probably understood the ‘they’ pronoun-gender. I thought it meant I was a man and a woman at the same time, no, it can mean I am not a woman neither a man.

I love the simplicity that we are not robots + we have no gender – we are humans, it’s so good to remember it.

Thank you Ben, Sarah and everybody for another brilliant event, thank you!

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Higienópolis, São Paulo, Brazil

Last month, on 15th April, I run a workshop in São Paulo, Brazil. Leonor, Claudia, Solange, Renata, Raquel, Eri, Glaucia, Claudia and Nina came over, we made and meditated 17 dolls.

We talked a lot about Brazil’s politics. There was sadness in the air, I bursted in tears, it was hard to talk about the country’s obscene situation. Nevertheless we were lucky that Claudia reminded us that there are forgotten azaleas everywhere.

Solange and Marilene donated their pillows- dreams, Claudia’s niece made a delicious carrot chocolate cake.

With flowers, dreams and carrot cakes, there’s hope.

Some comments:

‘It was my second time at the event, it is always a life learning process, work together to open space for the heart.’

‘It was a pleasant and interesting meeting, to share our good energies and dreams, congratulations!’

‘It was a very good relaxing experience, I loved it!’

‘In the times we live now, to share dreams are micro revolutions to move forward. This is a necessary project and I hope Regina continue to develop these invigorating meetings.’

I am very grateful for everybody who came and spent the afternoon making dolls and meditating, for Claudia and Vera who organised the event, for Marilene who offered her space, for people who bought ‘Dreams and a Heart’ little book to help the project keep going and for the pillows and cake generously donated, thank you so much everyone!

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Invitation for Sao Paulo, Brazil

This was the beautiful invitation Claudia Vasconcellos wrote for the workshop I run in Brazil last month.

To meditate is to share a dream

Dear friends, there are many ways to collaborate for a more harmonious, poetic and supportive world. One of them is meditation.

In this case, I invite you to a meditation undertaken collectively, with the aim of propagating human attunement to states of fraternity and compassion.

This is the fourth year that we have received in São Paulo the creator of the project Dreams and a Heart, in which meditation is carried out together with the manufacture of small dolls that will be donated, in groups of 700, for nursing homes, care centres, schools, hospitals… on the five continents.

Imagine that the doll that you will fill with your best dreams and endow it with a small and powerful heart while meditating will reach the hands of a Nigerian child or an elderly Indian, who can complete them in robes, colours, a face.

This poetic exchange links relations between the inhabitants of the planet. It is a gesture of solidarity, peace and hope called Dreams and a Heart.

Regina Mendes has been designing the project for 7 years and for the last 5 years has been doing workshops in England, Portugal and Brazil, bringing people together to dream a better world and connect with other people through the little dolls made of dreams and hearts.

Check out details at

http://dreamsandaheart.com

We invite you to extend the power of this gesture. Donating some time of your Sunday, April 15, and your attention, in the company of people who also dream a more fraternal world.

Note: We will be working to complete the third community of dolls to reach the 2100 mark.

Note 2: If you can, bring a used pillow, which stuffing, full of your dreams, will be used on the dolls.

Meeting:

04/04, Sunday

14h – 18h (ideally you arrive at 14:00 but if you can’t, make your own schedule)

https://www.facebook.com/events/811114605749304/

Claudia

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Rich Mix, Shoreditch, London UK

Yesterday evening we talked about ‘What can we do to be better allies? ‘ at the D&D event at Rich Mix Shoreditch in London.

I had a great conversation with Paul about gender, all the suffering we humans create out of ignorance. Sarah helped me clearly hear God’s voice ‘be kind to each other, please.’

Urvashi made one doll, I made five, we meditated she/he/they.

‘It was a very different but exciting experience. I loved every bit of it and what it represents. Can’t wait to see where my doll ends up in the end. Thank you for this’.

Yes, I also can’t wait to see where they all will end up, thank you so much for your help and shared wishes.

Thank you Ben and Sarah for holding the space for us, we love being together, thank you for let it happen.

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Omnibus Theatre, Clapham Common, London, UK

Yesterday evening we went to D&D event ‘What are we going to do about the rise of Nationalism and the hardening of borders’ at Omnibus Theatre in London.

The space was very cosy, colourful, two lovely cats around us, we felt at home.

I made dolls, four in total. I attended a session in which we talked a lot about Brexit and immigration.

It seams we are going backwards in terms of human evolution, maybe not. We are coming back to a sad place we’ve already been to but I guess it will be less painful. We just want to be convinced again that rejection, exclusion, prejudice, anger, fear, power without love and all selfish feelings don’t give us any joy really. We just need to be reminded about the lessons we learned already and we will move on quite quickly at this time. It is a spiral, we are going forward.

Thank you Sarah and Anabel who opened the space for us, thanks for all the people who care and want to do something to help everybody.

I will keep making my dolls.

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