The 'Collage Queen'

Written by our Friday studio volunteer, Eliza

Working with Chantel is uplifting, surprising, and always entertaining. She is undoubtedly one of the most enthusiastic artists and positive people I’ve ever met. You can't help but feel excited as soon as you see her exuberant smile. Every week in the workshops she can't wait to greet everyone and talk about her week, always laughing and clapping and doling out thumbs up. Her joie de vivre is infectious. 

When it comes to art she knows what she wants and likes to use her hands - often which is to do ‘sticking!’ Sometimes Chantel works with paint or felt pens, but her medium is definitely collage, so much so that we’ve named her the “collage queen”. She fervently chooses the images she wants from magazines, newspapers, or scraps of coloured paper and we arrange them together. Her choices of image always entertain as well. She often goes straight for animals but sometimes chooses plants, buildings, or even politicians, pointing at them with her signature enthusiasm.

My favourite Chantel moment was when she arrived at the 'Resonate' exhibition in October. It’s often hard for Chantel to attend trips and activities outside of the studio, partly as she sometimes needs a wheelchair, so it was all the more exciting that she was there. As she entered the gallery - already beaming, of course - she saw some of her works hung on the walls. Her smile widened and she ran up to them pointing and shouting, full of excitement and surprise to see something she'd made framed in a gallery. 

It’s always a pleasure to see Chantel at the studio, vibrant and enthusiastic, arriving early every week without fail because she can’t wait to get 'stuck in'.