Well-being through creative activity

Week 21: Photographing Blackwell, getting ready to paint and getting creative with straws, cakes and felt.

It has been a mixed bag this week. Lakeland Arts asked us to photograph Blackwell for them and we had the usual wild and wacky creations through the week as our service users went to work.

Photography Group

The group was invited to take photographs of Lakeland Arts Blackwell Arts and Crafts House by Lake Windermere. The brief was to try and capture the house as a healing space as a group of people who’s lives had been effected by long term and serious health conditions. The house is a truly peaceful and calming space with many little nooks to hide away and admire views across the lake. The detail throughout the house is amazing. These photos are a first batch by Mat without any tidying up. Ten people went today for Space2Create so we will be getting lots of different perspectives from them all and hopefully we will create and exhibition of the work.
In WellArt, we largely experimented with images incorporating mixed media. To begin with, those attending were encouraged to source photographs which appealed to them from magazines, then stick them onto a plain white background. In one case, a participant chose to create a collage composed solely of these; however, most people chose to experiment further by adding images and patterns using acrylic paints to their compositions, some of which were watered down and blown around the background using straws. One participant even included the use of pastels in their mix. Using all these techniques, some remarkable and very differing results were achieved. Finally, one attendee chose to continue with a long-term heraldry project of theirs. A very innovative session.
In the session, some participants continued with our ongoing abstract theme, using different media to portray contrasting concepts: fire and water; wind and earth; softness and brutality. The aim of this project is for participants ulti.mately to create their own designs on canvas, which can then be displayed at some point. Other participants worked on different projects: preparing comic sketches for the forthcoming Comic Art Festival, and working on images which were then expanded out onto the page. A very individual and creative session.
Kentmere Ward
In the session on the ward, we primarily worked with fondant icing and marzipan, modelling them into figures and shapes. We were inspired by cake decorating and clay modelling books. The warm weather made the process a little sticky, but by adapting our technique we were able to produce some very creative pieces. In the same session, one participant was encouraged to draw, using mainly pastels: she produced many wonderful images, and inspired another participant to have a go themselves. It was a busy and fun session.
Thursday Group
Our Thursday session is always varied and interesting, with some participants arriving with a plan of what they want to work on and others wanting a little guidance. So as the photos show, everyone worked on individual pieces, although needle felting was definitely very popular with many of the participants. Wool is a great material to work with, and by using a barbed needle to ‘agitate’ the fibres, it allows for a model or picture to be formed quickly, and provides very pleasing results. Others worked on comic sketching, needle work and intricate pen work. As always, a session with unique results.


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