Shruti’s story points to some of the struggles experienced both by adults with learning disabilities and their families. After leaving young people’s services, Shruti and her family were at a loss of how to fill her time. Without activities Shruti was deprived of the opportunity to develop. However, finding structure within Artbox’s studio time, Shruti has blossomed phenomenally into both her artistic identity and becoming a valued member of a social group. Her mum told us that:
Like the other artist’s at Artbox, Shruti takes great pride in her status as an artist. Not only has this provided her with a means to express herself in a wide variety of mediums but also it has shaped her identity. The enjoyment Shruti takes from art and her sense of belonging as an artist provides her with ample topics to talk about outside the studio, providing her with greater confidence when interacting with people both with and without learning disabilities.
Shruti also learnt about marketing, framing, curating, sales and customer service. This kind of education, combined with milestones like selling artwork for the first time and having her designs used on notebooks and bags, means that Shruti can feel entirely included within any art world setting.
Another crucial part of the inclusion that Artbox strives to foster is providing a social setting for our artists – this is a key part of Shruti’s development. Coming to the studio two times a week provides her with the routine that she was once left without, and provides her with the comfort of friendship. It has also allowed her to develop a fantastic relationship with her support worker – inspired by the sessions and trips we put on they will work on Shruti’s art at home, as well as visiting galleries and museums in Central London.
Shruti’s time so far at Artbox London has provided her with many opportunities for development and growth – her and her family are a wonderful addition to our community.