Boulevard Theatre, Soho, London UK

Last Friday we met at a satelite D&D event ‘ What can mental health workers and Deaf artists do together to improve care for Deaf people?’ at Boulevard Theatre, London.

Boulevard Theatre is a little gem hidden in the middle of busy Soho. It is a stunning contemporary space. There is an intimate arena stage that spins and the space for the audience also spins around. I was amazed! It was a real pleasure to stay with everyone in such beautiful space.

Paul, Momtaz, Nathalie and Camille came to make dolls, we made 5 dolls and we meditate.

‘I loose my heart easily, as well as my mind. I like to put my heart into things I do.’

It was an extraordinary event that left everybody feeling like meeting again as soon as possible. Everybody felt how essential is to have this kind of meetings, essential for the community.

Thank you so much Sarah and Ben for holding the space for all of us, thank you for incredible interpreters and for all makers who spent some time making dolls.

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East Dulwich Tavern, London UK

Yesterday we celebrated Jennifer’s birthday in a most beautiful party I have been for ages!

I brought my dolls and Mathew, Charshy, Caterina and Andrew wanted to make some.

We made 4 dolls and we meditate while people around were chatting, playing games, face painting, crafting ribbons, eating a delicious dinner that included vegan cupcakes, and lots of other lovely things.

It was first time I made dolls in a party, it would obviously be at Jen’s magical party!

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Meditation pics at Battersea Arts Centre, London UK

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Battersea Arts Centre, London UK

We spent a fantastic weekend at D&D15 at the gorgeous Grand Hall at Battersea Arts Centre, London.  

My sessions:

‘Help me to put dreams and a heart into my dolls and draw your own doll, I will sew it for you.’

‘Make your full moon necklace made by all full moons you have lived so far, including the one happening today.’ 

Our makers were: Davinia, Bonnie, Sibylla, Katie, Joannekke, Sanni, Rachel, Nick, Claire, Anna, Suzanne, Natalie, Karri, Nirobi, Kei, Lloyd, Isobel, Anne, Cindy, Fiona, Olivia and Pav. 

We made 18 dolls + 4 dolls’ drawings. 

We also worked on 4 necklaces. The youngest maker completed hers with 315 full moons. I’ll meet the other makers to complete theirs – 676, 449 and 514 full moons. We will thread all of them with a golden thread to remind us the sun. 

The full moon necklace is a ongoing project that I introduced at D&D in 2014, that also happened at BAC, and I brought it back this weekend to celebrate our full moon on Sunday. 

‘I really enjoyed being able to have a conversation with Regina that went beyond small talk, while my hands were occupied with the repetitive but therapeutic and productive task of making the doll- the process felt grounding. I’m pleased to be able to be a small part of this lovely project.’ 

‘Enlightening experience, thank you.’

‘An hour of crafting, bringing people together, a moment of peace in the biggest sense of the word.’ 

‘What a lovely time, wonderful!’

‘Very calming, loving thing to do.’

‘It feels really special to create something that is part of a bigger whole. A little gesture that will join all the others that were here before.’

‘Lovely to be part of this project and to imagine my doll living in the world. It fostered a sense of camaraderie. Lovely to swap stories with people. After a bad experience I am nervous about closing my eyes in public, but I felt supported to do so by the group.’ 

‘This session was such delightful refuge. Regina is a wonderful host holding space and facilitating restorative crafts.’ 

‘I resisted play and making a doll for two days! I feel bad. I need to listen to my heart more and trust.’ 

‘This practice made me feel like I had permission to slow down, to just be present with myself and people around me. No pressure.’

‘Thank you for helping me put dreams into something, wether it’s a doll, a sentence or just to feel my pulse.’

‘I did my meditation by the BAC beating heart. I will give some more dreams to Regina to use. I found that my doll had a thread ‘vein’ which matched my vein.’

‘Thank you again for providing an oasis of love, calm, heart and dreams at the transformational time of the full moon.’

‘It is a privilege to create another doll.’

‘My deep thanks to Regina for her Dreams and a Heart project – which, for what seems like many years, has created space and time at D&D for reflection and contemplation. A truly special project.’

Thank you for all amazing makers who came to join us, we had a wonderful time together, with lots of joy and friendship. 

Thank you so much Olivia, Ben, Sarah, Jeremy, Phelim, Lee, Nick and ALL volunteers who took great care of us so everybody felt really included in the group. 

BAC beating heart is full of joy to have received us in its home this weekend. Somehow I feel that it is missing us already…

Thank you SO much everyone! 

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Battersea Arts Centre, London UK

Yesterday we celebrated the Sunday’s full moon making full moon necklaces at BAC.

It was the second time we made full moon necklaces at BAC. First time was in 2014 when I introduced the project at a D&D event.

We worked on 4 full moons necklaces with Suzanne, Natalie, Karri and Kei.

The youngest maker completed hers with 315 full moons. I’ll meet the other makers soon to complete their necklaces – 676, 449 and 514 full moons.

We always thread them with a golden thread to remind us the sun.

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Royal Academy of Arts, London, UK

Last evening we went to the first InPractice event of the year at Royal Academy.

Artists who face all kinds of difficulties come together to share their artwork and life stories.

We started to make dolls at the break between sessions. June and I made one doll each.

It is very inspiring to witness the life and work of artists living under difficult conditions such as mental and/or physical disabilities. It’s a burst of encouragement for all of us and deserved recognition of their amazing achievements.

Thank you so much to InPractice team, and thank you for all artists for sharing their work/life with all of us.

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Omnibus Theatre December 2019, London UK

We spent wonderful three evenings at Omnibus this week.

Heather and Sophie came to make dolls. In total we made 9 new dolls while chatting about our lives, our passions and dreams. I also finished some dolls of previous makers.

Some people sat with me, we talked about the project, they loved it!

There was a new ice cream freezer placed right on DaaH corner and the ice cream was delicious!!! I almost had an overdose!!!

In the last evening we celebrated Christmas while singing carols at the cafe bar, it was beautiful!

Thank you Marie and everybody at Omnibus, it is always lovely to be back home, thank you!

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Some meditation pics at Omnibus, London UK

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Omnibus Theatre, London UK

We had another amazing residency season at Omnibus Theatre last month. We worked 8 evenings during three weeks. 

I decided to do an experiment. I didn’t introduce myself and invite the audience to make dolls as I usually did before. I wondered what would happen if I was just sat in my corner working on my own. There were some beautiful photos from previous seasons at Omnibus. In the last week we did a mini exhibition of the dolls we’ve just created. Would it be enough to grab people’s attention and inspire them to join me? 

I am very pleased to say that quite a few people were curious to ask about the project and some of them decided to make a doll. 

Khalida, Andreas, Eva, Oliver, Alex, Wendy, Nelson, Simon, Celine, Lucia, Miranda, Erin, Sarah, Marie, Ilaria, India, Rieko and Noriko were the makers. 

We made 40 dolls together – 27 brand new (19 by makers + 8 by myself) + 13 which I finished/ fixed from previous events. Two of the brand new dolls have names – Mauro and Patrick.

A lovely thing happened for the first time – a maker asked me to make a doll for him. He draw it with two long arms down to the floor. He uses crutches. He has multiple sclerosis. I made it exactly the way he asked me. He came back next week to complete his doll. I loved to make a requested doll. I would love to have more requests please! 

‘It’s enjoyable to fill a doll of yourself. I like the doll me. Thank you.’

‘People often mistake the world they see on TV or in the media as The World. It is not- it is just a tiny particle of reality. There are so many other realities- you get to choose the one that you want to experience.’

‘I think this is an awesome project, bring the community together and it’s very enjoyable. Thank you Regina!’

‘Making the little stuffed person/doll was very relaxing and mindful, and the conversation and sharing we all had was lovely.’

‘This was a very relaxing and spiritual experience. I really enjoyed working with my hands. It allowed me to connect with what I was doing. I am very proud of my doll and I am excited to see him added to the collection.’

‘I really enjoyed my experience and I think this is a great project.’

‘My favourite part was discovering that my doll and my friend’s doll resembled us in a way- she is much taller than I am and our dolls ended up resembling our heights difference.’

‘I did this with my friend and we chose big and small dolls on accident which is just like us. I am the tall and she is the small- cool! ‘

‘It was very relaxing after being stressed all day- a really great way to end a day of work. I really enjoyed the meditation because it made it feel more personal and like I was giving life to the doll.’

‘It was a great and peaceful activity. I love how sustainable this all is since it’s made from used pillows. I loved it!’ 

‘This is so metaphorical… you decide what everything means as you go along in the process and you discover/uncover new layers of yourself. Thank you Regina.’

‘During the final meditation I felt the pulse in my wrist flowing blood and life through my thumb into the heart of my doll. Thank you for sharing your vision with the community.’

‘It brought me some good memories making dolls with my daughter when she was little. It was very calming. Thank you.’ 

Thank you so much lovely Marie who invited us to celebrate their new cafe bar and gave us a cozy corner to work, thank you for all lovely Omnibus team that once more made me feel at home, and a huge thank you to all the adventurous makers who risk themselves to do something different, meet new people and have a lovely time together. I can definitely say that it was a successful experiment! Much love to you all! 

 

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Omnibus Theatre November 2018, London UK

Dreams and a Heart: The Exhibition!

 

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Dreams and a Heart is having an exhibition! Come and view the first community of 700 dolls, and make your own to add to this ongoing participatory artwork. With nearly 2000 dolls created so far, this exhibition is a celebration of all the work by Regina and her workshop participants over the last 7 years.

If you’d like to make dolls to add to the community, join Regina every Tuesday – Friday evening from 5-9pm. No doll-making only on Weds 7, Thurs 8 and Friday 9.

On Saturdays doll-making is at different times:

Saturday 3 November, doll-making 10am-5pm

Saturday 10 November, doll-making 2-10pm

Saturday 17 November, doll-making 2-10pm

If you have a group you’d like to bring, Regina can be available on several afternoons during the exhibition. Please message us here if you’d like to arrange a group visit.

There’s no need to book – just turn up. All welcome! Please check for last minutes changes or updates on our social media pages.

The dolls are on display whenever the Common Room is open. Regular opening hours are 10-6pm Monday – Saturday. The Common Room is also open in the evenings for audiences to shows, and live music events in the Common Room itself, so we recommend you check out what else is on and make the most of your visit to this wonderful venue.

We’re also very excited that Omnibus is celebrating its 5th birthday on Saturday November 10th with an open house from 2pm, so if you’d like to join the party, that would be a particularly good time to come along.

Omnibus is wheelchair-accessible. If you have any other queries about the venue, please see the Omnibus website.

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