"I am a playful creative, radio presenter, accomplished freelance artist, workshop facilitator, arts organiser and festival director with many years’ experience developing and leading community arts engagement projects and co-directing festivals. I specialise in arts engagement and provide participatory, inclusive arts events and workshops for all ages, creating community through arts by encouraging the spirit of creative playfulness in my participants.
I aim to inspire & share through creative communication"
My workshops and events are vibrant, colourful, fun and my ‘inspire & share’ ethos ensures a space where people feel free to communicate their thoughts, exchange ideas and share stories while learning a transferable creative skill or being part of a creative event. When we tune in to that spirit of playfulness we can feel joy, we can feel connected and we can smile.
While home-educating both my kids, and working part-time, I felt a creative calling to share my playfully creative vibes & began facilitating multi-disciplinary inclusive arts workshops for community groups in the London Borough of Sutton in 2008. I instantly realised the value of creating a welcoming space for imagination to flow 'without judgement' and of bringing a joyful smile to people's faces through creative play.
This early experience shaped the inspire and share ethos which permeates my creative practice, from design to delivery of multi-disciplinary art projects, from project management to networking and collaboration. Enthusing, empowering and enabling participants to use their, in some cases, dormant creative abilities for self-expression, never ceases to lighten my heart.
I went on to develop a touring community art project, SamiArt & The Silk Road and used silk painting as the playful, colourful, medium to inspire imagination, creativity, conversation. The Silk Road project strengthened my belief that the arts have the power to transform lives and communities, to create unity through diversity, to open the door to dialogue.
For this reason, I spent two years coordinating a Community Art Space in an empty shop unit in a local shopping centre, initially exhibiting my Silk Road projects and offering free workshops, then coordinating a programme of month-long exhibitions hosted by individual artists, local arts collaborations, schools, and community groups to bring arts for all to the heart of the High St.
Forming stronger, positive connections with the wider arts community led to several collaborative multi-disciplinary projects with local artists and I received a Cultural Award for outstanding contribution to the community as part of the Team Imagineers collaboration which I coordinated, and in that same year, I co-directed Sutton's Imagine Festival of Participatory Arts.
In 2013 I took a voluntary role on the working party of the local arts council, shaping & overseeing its transition to Arts Network Sutton, becoming its Chair, acting as a voice for the local arts community, diversifying and increasing its membership, networking effectively and forming stronger relationships from grassroots to corporate level. I was subsequently nominated for Trustee of The Year Award in recognition of my invaluable contribution to the voluntary sector.
To balance the energy needed to 'give' I make time to focus on my own need for self-expression and work on my slowly evolving range of #SamiArtStyle finger knitted apparel and doodle art designs, exhibiting and popping up with my stall at markets, events and in cafes since summer 2017.
Additionally, I relished an out-of-the-blue opportunity to host my own radio show, The Go With The Flow Show, on Juice Radio, which began during lockdown on 18 April 2020. I said "yes!" on the Wednesday, and went live on the Saturday!
It's now, usually, a weekly chat show with special guests, eclectic tunes, creative news and positively kind vibes which I am now live-streaming directly from my website, with a live chat feature enabled too! So save the date: SATURDAYS 10AM-12PM UK TIME and join me as I go with the flow!