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Jigsaw founder returns to Jigsaw Finchley

Nikki and Colette

This post is written by Jigsaw co-founder, Colette. 

On dropping my young daughters off at the Jigsaw Arts summer school in Finchley, I was struck by the passage of time. How had 16 years flown by? How could it be that the teachers who would be instructing my children this week were once upon a time the children who were taught by me? Let me explain. In 1998 Finchley became the chosen location for the very first Jigsaw Performing Arts school and it was here that I cut my teeth as a drama teacher. And now I was back again, this time with two kids in tow! Serendipitous too that I will be back once more from the end of September when I take up post as manager, rejoining the Jigsaw Arts team after a 14 year sabbatical!

It is nearly two decades ago that I first met Nicola Lander (Director of Jigsaw Arts) at Mountview Theatre School where we quickly became friends, before going on to co-found Jigsaw Arts a few years later. As I wave goodbye to Betty (8) and Florence (5), I say hello to Nicola’s two boys Callum (7) and Frankie (5) who are also taking part in the Mary Poppins themed theatrical week. Nicola and I take a moment to reflect on this new configuration of people, places and time before rushing on with our respective days as busy working Mums.

It was one of those moments where time twirled in my mind alighting on memories of a life before babies. How had boyfriends and parties morphed into marriages, mortgages, businesses and offspring? In my own case I can now add ‘divorce’ to the list of milestones on the march of time. I am reminded of the Buddhist notion that the only thing that doesn’t change is that everything changes. Sometimes that change is subtle and daily, at other times it is sudden and shocking. It is constant, nevertheless.

My Journey with Jigsaw Arts has incorporated much change but I am increasingly aware of the cyclical nature of that. An echo perhaps of the very circle of life with its procession of endings and new beginnings. As Jigsaw Arts gets set to celebrate its 20th anniversary and our children join a new generation of young people who will benefit from and enjoy its activities, I cannot help but wonder whether one day, Nicola and I maybe dropping our grandchildren here. Same place, different perspective. I am reminded of a line from a T.S.Eliot poem, “the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time”!

Jigsaw Performing Arts is dedicated to developing performance skills, promoting self-expression and building confidence. We offer performing arts classes for children aged between 3 – 18. Find your nearest school by entering your postcode into the search on our home page