This autumn we are celebrating 10 years of Clown Round, so it’s the perfect time to introduce you to Filomena, one of our amazing Clown Doctors. Fil has been with us from the very start of the project back in 2008 and as well as changing lives through her art, it’s great to hear that being a Clown Doctor has also changed hers!
Name: Filomena Cristallino
Can you tell us a little bit about your own practice?
Due to my strict Italian upbringing I was forced to have a sensible office job when I left school and for someone who was anything but sensible, it was a difficult time in my life. Fast forward to my early 30’s, and I made the decision to follow my heart and go back into full time education to study for a degree in the Performing Arts. Finally, I had found my Tribe and a whole new world of imagination and creativity opened up before me. I have been very fortunate over the years to have worked with some amazing people on many innovative arts and theatre projects, but none have warmed my old cockles more than having had the opportunity to work with Suffolk Artlink delivering arts in health to patients as Dr. Fillie Fidget and Kitty Dandelion.
What’s been your favourite artistic experience of the past 12 months?
It’s hard to choose one particular experience from the past 12 months as there are so many, however a few weeks ago, we were asked to attend a ceremony at Colchester Hospital. One of our oncology children had finally reached the end of her treatment and all those involved in her healing journey were invited to attend to hear her ring the celebratory bell. It was a very moving experience and one I will never forget.
Which Suffolk Artlink projects have you worked on to date?
I work on Clown Round and Forget-Me-Not Visitors
How has working with Suffolk Artlink influenced your work?
Working with Suffolk Artlink using arts in health isn’t a completely new concept to me, as I have in the past used similar techniques when working with children on the autistic spectrum and also those with learning disabilities. During the past 10 years I have found myself becoming more and more interested in the benefits of music, song and sound to aid healing and to engage with patients. I have managed to teach myself the ukulele and harmonica and am currently wrestling with the mysteries of the melodica, which sadly I haven’t yet mastered, as it sounds more like a person with a bad case of flatulence than a musical instrument!
How would you describe Suffolk Artlink in 3 words?
Inclusive, expansive, awesome