“Even on bad days we found ways to have a laugh, and I miss all that, I really do.”

It’s with sadness for a life ended, but equally with joy for a life filled with great adventure, that we learned Steve Woodhouse passed away earlier this year. Steve along with Trevor Boddington, his personal assistant were great friends of Changing Our Lives.

Steve and Trev had known each other for over twenty years and shared many creative adventures, both at home and aboard. Their friendship was based on complete trust, respect and mutual admiration. Trev first began supporting Steve to go to a day centre, but it didn’t take long for them to both realise they could have a much more ordinary, fun filled, life out and about and they soon escaped, claiming their place in the world!

With a shared love of 70’s and 80’s toys, Steve and Trev began to experiment with creative ideas that expressed their own dynamic and fantastical imaginations and attracted attention from others, keen to share in the experience of making together.

Trev explained that the pair had focussed more on film making in recent years. The films were a wonderful way of including people and creating a network around the two artists. People say that Steve and Trev made a space for everyone. As Trev says, “whoever you are, whatever your interest or skill, there is a role for you here.  That can be acting, writing, costume making, set building, marketing, tea making and an endless list of jobs.” Steve and Trev worked with people’s strengths, getting to know people and what they had an interest in and finding them a role.  

Many of the people who were part of Steve and Trev’s film making family live with mental health difficulties, and as Mauvette says, “People can label you, and once that happens they look at you differently. They tend to label you as not able to do things. Labels are for boxes, not people. Learning scripts, building a character and sharing ideas about the film really helps me to focus on positive things in my life. Their flexibility is fantastic if things don’t work out, it doesn’t matter, we just try it another way.”

Gary explains, “I hadn’t played music for such a long time due to the affect my bi-polar was having on me. When I came along here, they gently encouraged me. It took a while, but I got swept up on the wave of friendship and enthusiasm that the two of them radiate.”

People that knew and respected the two guys say that the best thing about Steve and Trev was the friendship they extended to others. They opened up their sculpture and film studio for people to use in a relaxed and uncomplicated way.

The ordinariness of the friendship between Steve and Trev, and between them and their large creative friendship circle, was wonderful. A shared creative passion, a meeting of minds, coupled with a wicked sense of humour meant that, as Tony says, “being with Steve and Trev lifted you up! It was such a happy, welcoming and positive place to come”.

We wish Steve’s family all the best for the future and we will continue to liaise with Trevor as he carries on the great creative work in Steve’s name.

 

Click on the links below to see some of the amazing sculptures and films from the Two Art Toy Guys

www.2arttoyguys.co.uk

and

www.youtube.com/user/2arttoyguys