"I was so trapped in my mind I couldn’t embrace the moment; Looking Glass taught me to be more confident, content with myself - can’t wait for the next course."

Gary from the Looking Glass programme

man smiling
Gary at the Curve in Slough

Gary was unable to complete his first Looking Glass programme, but returned determined to make the most of his second attempt, and successfully completed the programme.

“I had been finding it hard just to get to the sessions, but David and Emel were fantastic putting me at ease. They taught me to find pictures, and think about the interpretation of them. Initially travelling put me on edge, but I found I remained calm in situations where I might have expected to flip. The joy of getting out, going to the museum, taking pictures – I can’t think of another situation where I would have done that.

Some of the work I did at the start was very angry and negative – I still produce some negative stuff, but somehow I don’t mean it – it’s evolved – gone from just feelings to self-expression.

“Just observe … look up, look down, look sideways, you will find inspiration everywhere.”

I had great interactions with people – I asked permission from a homeless man to take his picture, and got talking to him … could have sat there talking all day. I wasn’t much of a fan of people when I started the programme, but we built up a rapport in our group and I was comfortable with them – we were interested in each others’ work in a very supportive way. I did so enjoy the editing work though, that’s where it all comes to life!

Now I’m a sponge, soaking up what is around me in the world – not all of it great, but it’s fantastic, it’s real. The power you possess when you have a camera around your neck! You can stop, look, take time to look … an excuse to slow down … to observe. I have found a happy medium – life and art. I hope the programmes continue for a very long time.”

Image of a piece of art work
I took the picture of ON … and inspiration struck
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