The left image shows a group of people standing and seated around tables. The right is of four women smiling and the backgrounds indicate that they are at home.

An in-person workshop in the Department of Photography studio at Sandwell College and online from the Multistory digital stories project Seeing in Isolation, produced by Multistory and Karren Visser, 2021.

Workshops are an ideal format in which to engage constructively in intensive discussion and activity to share our differences and similarities. I enjoy the opportunity to do this in person and through an on-line meeting platform. The energy from unexpected exchanges centred on a particular theme or interest I find goes beyond the event and often leads to other equally important developments.

Central to my way of working is to share what I learn in the hope that others may find this relevant to their situations. Similarly, I wish to gain understanding, to be able to draw from experience that are not influenced solely by my own. Born short-sighted and experiencing ongoing sight loss means I take little for granted, in particular the ability independently to navigate my environment. I find myself, for both practical and creative reasons, questioning what I see.

From personal and professional experience my intention is to continue designing and adapting workshops that are accessible and inclusive. These aim to show how to enable the individual to share their stories and to express their creative ideas. Participatory engagement is built upon mutual trust and shared ethics. I am mindful that participants are informed of their rights regarding privacy and data protection.

I have run joint workshops in a tertiary educational environment with Higher National Diploma Photography students, college staff, alumni and members of a visually impaired charitable organisation. Some of these workshops were conducted in collaboration with Multistory for a photography commission, Seeing in Isolation (2020 and 2021), with Creative Black Country, See What We See (2019), and Sandwell Visually Impaired.

I should welcome any opportunity to discuss with individuals and organisations how my workshops can be adapted to particular requirements and interests.