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Bow Skills workshop: freeing your creativity and overcoming blocks with Dora Lam

Wednesday 27th March 2024 , 6:00pm to 8:00pm

Join interdisciplinary artist Dora Lam in this experimental workshop to discover the value in letting go of our artistic inhibitions and becoming more instinctive when faced with creative blocks. 
Photo credit: JY Mak

Creative blocks and muddle are universal experiences that many artists experience throughout their artistic lifespans. But, when you’re stuck in a rut, it can be hard to figure out how to funnel repressed creative energy elsewhere and get re-inspired to make and create again. 

In this workshop, Dora Lam will draw from her own experiences as an artist to walk us through a number of creative experiments, activities, and techniques to activate different parts of your creative brain, which you will be able to come back to time and time again, as and when you need them. 

In the first half of the session, we’ll be getting acquainted with some playful quick-fire, intuitive activities, spanning a range of mediums and formats to get those creative juices flowing, including blind drawing to music, performance and improv, storytelling, reflective writing, and more. 

When you’re feeling stuck, it can also be helpful to bring things back to the personal and get inspired by things that deeply move you and others around you. The second half of the session will tease apart this idea through collective and pair work to reframe our relationship to objects and memories, identify the connections and dissonances between our lived experiences as artists, and enable you to find inspiration in the stories and tales passed on by others. 

Dora encourages attendees to bring along a memory that you feel comfortable sharing, as well as an object, artwork, or item that means something to you or that you have questions about, which you would be happy to be (carefully!) handled by other attendees. 

In this workshop, you will: 

  • Learn a wide range of exercises, techniques, and experiments that activate different parts of your creative brain and encourage you to view your practice in a different way 
  • Leave with a creative toolkit you can come back to time and time again when faced with creative block 
  • Connect with other artists and practitioners 
£7 £5 concessions

Concession rate applies to students, over 65s, under 18s, Bow Arts artists, National Art Pass members, and key workers

183 Bow Road
London, E3 2SJ

More about Dora Lam 

Dora Lam is an interdisciplinary artist navigating notions of identity, diaspora, transnationalism and heritage. Her socially-engaged work deals with cultural complexity, microhistories and memory on personal and collective levels. She is especially interested in how collaborative art practices can mine, construct and preserve the more nuanced forms of cultural and familial heritage overshadowed by mainstream historical narratives. She is interested in the elastic tensions between individuality, multiplicity and commonality and explores how art-making can be accessible and evade ownership. She works with social engagement, live painting, video, performance, craft and writing and community is at the forefront of her practice. 

Dora is a trustee at Hackney Chinese Community Services and co-founder of the book club ESEA Archives. 

About Bow Skills  

Bow Arts seeks to support creative professionals at all stages of their careers. In 2015 Bow Arts launched Bow Skills in response to an artist survey which showed over 90% of practicing artists find it useful to receive further support outside formal education.   

Bow Skills is a dynamic and relevant programme of Continuing Professional Development (CPD) which is informed by an artist steering group and open to all creative practitioners across London. The programme of talks, panel discussions, new skills labs and peer crits is open to all, with concession rates available to students, over 65s, under 18s, Bow Arts artists and key workers.   

Access information 

The Bow Arts Trust office has step-free access throughout from street level, including to the accessible toilet, and is service animal friendly. This venue does not have a hearing loop system. Accessible parking is not available on-site but blue badge parking can be found 500m away on Fairfield Road.  

If you have any questions regarding accessibility at this venue or event, would like to make us aware of any access requirements that you have in advance of visiting, or would like this information in an alternate format including Easy Read, please email nunnery@bowarts.com or call 020 3967 1643.  

Access requirements could include things like providing equipment, services or support (e.g. information in Easy Read, speech to text software, additional 1:1 support), adjusting workshop timings (e.g. more break times), adjustments to the event space or anything else you can think of! 

Transport Information 

Opening hours: Mon-Fri, 9am to 5pm 
Address: Bow Arts Trust, 183 Bow Road, London, E3 2SJ 
Nearest station(s): Bow Road (District and Hammersmith and City lines) is a 6-minute walk away, and Bow Church (DLR) is a 3-minute walk away. 
Bus: 205, 25, 425, A8, D8, 108, 276, 488 and 8 all service the surrounding area. 
Bike: Bicycle parking is located at Bow Church Station. The nearest Santander Cycles docking station is at Bow Church Station.