Writing Workshop at the VC Gallery with James Silbers
When Nina Camplin told me about her online art sessions with the VC Gallery (which works with service veterans and those in the wider community by getting them engaged in a variety of art projects, and is based in Haverfordwest and Pembroke Dock), she also mentioned that a writing workshop was taking place each Friday in lockdown via Facebook at 11.30am.
We contacted the tutor James Silbers and asked him to tell us something about himself.
James told us that he is originally from Venezuela, but moved to Wales with his family from London just over five years ago.
“We live in an intentional community called www.templedruid.org,” he explained. The Temple Druid Community was formed in 2014 and is the home of six adults and three children who share common goals and aspirations.
James told us that he has had three main careers in his life: in the world of professional modelling, in film production and in what is known as the third sector.
He said: “ I started a not-for-profit organisation www.silberscic.org.uk about three-and-a-half years ago. We deliver a few programmes, including our Live Wire programme.” James’s programme is a specialised family programme which provides therapy, enabling families to overcome trauma associated with adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
“We also do employability programmes, youth programmes, youth nature workshops and school services, and I’m currently developing a Grow and Skate programme to go hand in hand with the Live Wire programme.”
The work is intergenerational, involving older and younger people in a wide range of activities. “We want to have families come that have kids with complex needs. Hence the Live Wire families,” he said.
James started working with Barry John who runs the VC project and his VC clients about 18 months ago.
“I used to write and perform poetry in my modelling days when I was traveling round the world, and I read one of my poems to Barry.”
From this, James was commissioned to deliver a weekly creative writing workshop at the VC Gallery in Haverfordwest, and to take creative writing into schools for kids with additional needs, while Barry did artwork with them.
With the lockdown, the writing workshop has become an online event that is proving very popular.
If you would like to know more about the work James does or join in with the Friday workshop, you can get information on the VC Facebook page or email James at firstname.lastname@example.org.