In full colour

An artist from Palmers Green is launching a new series of workshops to help people’s mental health

'Shadows of the Past' painted by Patrick Samuel
‘Shadows of the Past’ was painted by Patrick Samuel and formed part of his recent exhibition ‘Passing Time’ inspired by his visits to Broomfield Park

I’m an artist, composer and public speaker. I also have autism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Life two years ago was very different. I wasn’t coping that well; I didn’t have coping mechanisms or calming strategies in place, and as a result, I was having frequent meltdowns because of sensory overload and being overwhelmed by situations at work and at home that I couldn’t manage. I was so traumatised by all of this that I eventually stopped speaking.

It was then that my friend and carer got me to try drawing as a way to express myself. He said: “If you can’t speak, then draw, let the pencil do the talking.” So I drew. And the next day I drew again.

Gradually I wanted to talk about what I drew; about what was happening to me and the problems I had coping. This led to me wanting to share it with others and I soon saw how much it was helping on a wider scope.

In the two years that followed I discovered my love for colour, as I moved on from drawing to painting with oil pastels, soft pastels, acrylics and oil paint. I found colour as a way to express myself more freely than I had ever done before. It was like learning a new language. It was a completely different way to communicate and connect with others; something I had always struggled with.

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After giving lots of talks at schools, community centres, at autism shows and conferences, and six solo exhibitions, I’ve been given the wonderful opportunity to run three workshops where I can share my love of colour based on the therapeutic approach I’ve been shown. These will be held at Dugdale Centre in Enfield and will focus on Broomfield Park, the subject of my most recent exhibition, using oil pastels with various mixing and blending mediums.

I’ll be supported by my carer and staff at the Dugdale and Museum of Enfield to deliver these workshops and I’m looking forward to seeing who’ll come along and share this experience with me. Let’s learn to communicate with colour!

Colour Therapy with Patrick Samuel takes place at Dugdale Centre on Saturday 26th January, 23rd February and 30th March, 1pm-3pm. The cost is £10 per session – all materials are provided. For more information:

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