Margaret, a retired secondary school Head of Art has been teaching an art class as part of LifeLines in Brighton for local people over 50 for almost 5 years.

This week she shared some work from the class and explained the theme behind their most recent project.

What inspired you to become a volunteer?

Quite simply I missed teaching! I saw an advertisement for a volunteer teacher and applied. 5 years later it’s still a success. I like it, they like it – everyone in the class has progressed in some way and it’s lovely to see people improving.

Tell us more about your most recent project

I started by asking the class to look at crowds. It might be a market place or an airport crowd for example – anywhere with a minimum of 20 people.

Each person then picked a couple out of the crowd and we examined their body language, then recreated famous works, concentrating on how body language is presented.

The following week we drilled down further and looked at the patterns used, creating a more abstract piece and focusing on tonal changes.

Have there been any stand out pieces?

Everyone is working at a different level but each person has made an improvement. Some of the stuff has been wonderful! It’s lovely to see how people have developed as a group outside of the class.

They often go for a coffee afterwards and have been on trips to visit galleries together.

What’s next?

We’ll work on some greeting cards so that people can share their art work with friends and family. Everyone will recreate one of their designs using pens.

It’s rewarding being able to give something back and I plan to keep teaching. I’d recommend volunteering to anyone who wanted to do it!

Bernie, one of Margaret’s students, said: “I love improving my art skills and meeting new people. Margaret is absolutely wonderful at what she does and we’re so lucky to have her!”

To find out more about the art class or other activities provided by LifeLines volunteers, contact the team on 01273 688 117