As part of their celebrations for Learning Disability Week, which ran from the 14th to the 20th of June, students from the Foundation Studies department have been creating self-portraits. This year’s theme was Art and Creativity, and the students have used the opportunity to show off their artistic talent, self-expression, and celebrate the barriers they have overcome over lockdown.

The students could choose their own style of portrait, and have been doing lots of experimentation with different colours and textures. We had portraits created using materials from nature of different craft materials such as paper plates, tissue paper and pipe cleaners. The students used a range of techniques, from digital half and half portraits, using an image of their face, to collage using scrap materials. We even had a mixed-media portrait from a student who had been self-isolating, and yet still took part!

The students could choose to create portraits that reflected their interests or personalities, and got plenty of inspiration from artists like Picasso, Mattise, and Roy Lichtenstein.

They were also encouraged to think about how their work over the past week supports their personal development, through independence, teamwork, and collaboration.

Tammy Davies, Team Leader for Foundation Studies, said, “It was great to see the students express themselves through their self-portraits and spend time reflecting on the year. The theme showed how wonderfully resilient and positive our students are.”

Our Foundation Studies courses are specialist courses designed to prepare young people for further education or employment, and equip them with general life skills.