Well-being through creative activity

Week 8: Poetry, flowers, prrinting and windows.

This has been a busy  and mixed week. An extra poetry session on the Monday and a session for a homeless Charity on Wednesday morning added extra to the normal week. Throw in preparations for the flower festival and a request from Abbot Hall Art Gallery and we seemed to be dashing from one thing to the next. But of course all this creativie activity meant a massive positive boost to all our participants.

Monday Flower Themed Poetry Session and 2Create

We had great fun on Monday morning writing poetry with the poet Ann Wilson on the subject of flowers. We were all really surprised with the quality and strong emotions the writing brought out. Thanks to Ann and all who took part. Ann made itr very easy to create with simple ideas and games that gave all the participants confidence to write. Some of the work that was produced was very moving and surprised us all.

Really good 2Create Session. We started with some fun drawing activities and finished with poetry. Mat led the session part 1 and using pen had participants drawing small pictures based on sets of words and with a time limit. This was helping everyone gain confidence and giving ideas of ways ideas could be generated.
The second part was led by Ann the Poet following on from the session on Monday…. We carried on playing word games that ended up generating some great individual and group poems with a flower theme.This poem is two parts alternating between somebody in hospital and then remembering their mother in law.
I woke in the hospitals still night Greeted by an arrangement of miscellaneous flowers.
I waved the bunch of flowers at my mother in law Embarrassed in front of the gathered relatives.
Whoever had brought them did not know me well As I detest receiving such bouquets.
Smiling in that quiet understanding humour She added mine to three other bunches
But the thought was well intentioned And then I realised I was still alive.
That smiling tenderness that she showed me Is the memory of her I hold still.
Wednesday Manna House and Kentmere Ward
Space2Create visited Manna House on Wednesday morning, and we ran a printing session. We used an effective technique of drawing the design onto polystyrene tiles and then going over it until the design was etched into the tile. This proved …a very satisfying and achievable way of printing, and allowed participants to develop their designs. The session was very productive and creative, with some participants going on to produce many cards.
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Following swiftly on from the Manna House printing session, participants on the ward were this week encouraged to have a go at etching polystyrene tiles for printing, using the same simple and accessible techniques as before. Using both existing templates and new designs, simple cards, and more extensive, wallpaper-like arrangements were all produced in the session, which had a very inclusive and enjoyable feel.




The WellArt Group took up a challenge from the Abbot Hall Art Gallery to decorate the L.A.B. windows with a piece based on Patrick Caulfield’s “Pottery”. We used black tape to outline the pots in the windows, following the artist’s style of… overlapping and perspective. Then we began filling in the pots much like a stained glass window. The overall effect inside the room was very pleasing, with each window styled slightly differently by the individuals working on them.
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Thursday Group
With group members still keen to produce more flowers for the Flower Festival, some participants worked on producing large flower heads. These were created from folded tissue paper which was then teased out to form a pom pom. We then wired …some on to canes, and wrapped in green fabric to form a stem. Others in the group developed their own work: a hand-embroidered blue tit; a rag rug; hand-made cards, and a wired bowl with a tiny wired flower. As with each session there is a theme, but we also encourage individuality. A very productive morning.
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Week 7 Weather woes and new ventures

A mixed week as group numbers were down in the constant deluge and high winds. On the plus side a grant from Cumbria Voluntary Service will enable to get a photography group off the ground, more details coming soon.

Thursday Group

In the session, we looked at a technique to make rag flowers. Although this is a simple technique, it is very effective, as the results show; it was also very achievable in one session. We also worked on some bunting for the forthcoming Flower Festival, and some participants worked on projects they were developing: crochet flowers and a rag-rug. A very productive session.

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Kentmere Ward

On the ward we looked at a simple technique for printing, using a polystyrene tile and a ball-point pen. Images were first drawn out and then further defined using the pen point on the tile. Participants then used differe…nt coloured inks to print the image onto card. This allowed the group to develop their own ideas, and by varying the size of the polystyrene tile, it allowed the activity to be achievable by all. Once the technique was mastered, each participant became very productive, giving some very pleasing outcomes.

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The WellArt session was led by Jane. The group had chance to carry on with the Lowry pictures they worked on last time, developing the images more and adding colour. Some also added their own unique and quirky twist (I am saying nothing about zip-lines in industrial Manchester skylines). Most went on to making small clay pieces, looking at making coil pots and small sculptures in air-drying clay.

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The 2Create group were working with wire this week. We recalled making drawings not by drawing a shape, but by drawing random lines to make the form of the object we were observing. We then discussed how we could recreate this idea in wire. We looked at using thicker wire as a base to start then adding progressive layers of finer wire and coloured wire to create a sculpture. The end results were pretty good.

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Week 6 Printing, Pots, Plans and Pencil drawings!


The 2Create group carried on from the WellArt session on Friday with printing from foam sheets. We looked at creating abstract patterns or shapes that we could rotate, overprint and print in different colours. The foam-like sheets can be bo…ught from art suppliers and provide a good alternative to using lino as a starting point to printing. We found it easy to work with and quick. We learned that pressing lightly into the foam first before applying more pressure gave a smoother, better-defined edge. The material holds in well for printing, giving a good, even print.
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Kentmere Ward
In an interesting and relaxed session on the ward, participants were encouraged to create their own themed plant pots. In a modern twist on decoupage and collage, creative images were sourced in magazines, and were then torn as background, …or cut to shape and added as foreground for the design. They were then glued on to unwanted plastic garden pots to make some uniquely decorative and functional items, appropriate to the time of year. Other participants were also enabled to do stamp-making on cards of their choice.
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Inspired by some of the works on display at the Abbot Hall Gallery, the group spent a productive session exploring some of Lowry’s techniques. Using his painting ‘Coming from the Mill’, participants built up a similar image using the same b…asic, strong shapes that he used; then focused on drawing a particular area of the painting which interested them. Finally, Lowry’s restricted palette (white, black, blue, yellow and red) was used to highlight and colour parts of the image. With the understanding gained of Lowry, participants will be going on to paint their own images next week, based on his unique style.
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Thursday Group
The Thursday Group were making progress planning for the Stricklandgate Flower Show in May. We have now five spots around the building where we will be doing crafty textile displays as part of the Festival, each one based on a poem. We did …some making today, creating huge flowers by shaping and distressing crepe paper. Some of us were also swapping the display boards to show some of the paintings and prints various groups have made.
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Week 5 A week of creativity

This week has been brilliant with lots of excellent creative work done by Space2Create participants both at sessions and in their own time. It is great to see how individuals can be inspired art and then go away to try out their own ideas at the same time giving them a purpose and focus that helps their well-being.


Anne-Marie from Lakeland Arts Trust ran the WellArt session this week based on our visit to the Patrick Caufield exhibition at Abbot Hall Art Gallery. With Anne-Marie we developed sketches of simple everyday objects before creating printing blocks from polystyrene board. We pressed designs into the board with pens. These were then inked up with printing ink and pressed down. We made a group print of repeating pattern. A really good session enjoyed by all that wetted our appetites for printing like this so we shall probably be carrying on in 2Create next week!

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Thursday Group and Kentmere Ward

On Kentmere Ward Sally and Jo worked with the patients, developing ideas with clay. They used air drying clay to make models of their hands. These and other designs were then embellished with further clay decoration. They showed how clay can be joined together securely using cutting and slip, so that bits did not break off as the clay dried.

In the Thursday session we carried on with the theme of flowers, using different media and techniques to further develop skills. We used clay, paper, maps and sheet music to create flowers and floral designs. Some individuals also created u…nique items, developing their cartoon-drawing skills, creating a handmade paper fan, hand-sewn figures and handmade books. These sessions aim to encourage individuals to develop their own ideas and skills, as well as suggesting items to work on. This particular session was very productive and creative.
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In 2Create, we took inspiration from the way Patrick Caulfield had paid homage to Picasso and other artists he was inspired by, in recreating or using elements of their pictures. We focused on Picasso and worked to each create a deconstruct…ed homage to Picasso. Some cut out parts from photos while others drew out their own. Some people looked and imagined viewing a Picasso image from a different angle, as Caulfield had looked at Picasso figures from behind to reveal unseen detail. Others rearranged the elements of a picture to create a new composition. One or two were working on their own projects too.
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