Well-being through creative activity

Action planning, funding, collaboration and nice things “wot people ses!”

This week has been an odd one. First it involved a lot of lying down after a mad weekend at The Factory Open Studios and Kendal Summer Arts where we saw hundreds of people and sold over £400 of service user artwork. Brilliant when the prices range fro £15 to £50. Secondly we were asking people to contribute to our action plan for the next few years by giving us feedback and thoughts on the service we offer. Instead of normal sessions people were invited to tell us what they did and didn’t like and what they wanted us to add.

Funding, of course, is the drive behind this. We are looking to show to funders that over the next few years we can become more self sustaining. Generating income by running services is one way. Tapping into personal budgets and commissioning another. Also the unit we use is a resource. If we had the same level of income from its hiring out as we did last week then it would pay its own rent.

This week also saw the start of some great potential collaborations. The Lakes International Comic Art Festival is something Space2Create has supported and been part of since its beginning and this year is no different with our groups, service users and volunteers set to do o less than four windows as part of the Comic Art Window Trail. Then we also had a great meeting with Helen Isaac from Kendal Arts Community about how S2C and KAC could work together on projects and exhibitions both at our own unit and around town.

Finally, the nice stuff people say. Amongst all the feed back we were given there were many very positive comments about S2C. What was really good for those of us that run S2C is the consistent use of words like warm, friendly, safe, supportive and healing. Thank you to all those that help make it like that.

A few of our groups did run as normal and produce art:

Unity Session

Anne-Marie’s second session used Brusho ink powder to create interesting backgrounds. The group then traced over elements of portraits and glued these on the backgrounds when they were dry. They then added words. More work to these next week.

Creative Writing

In Creative Writing today, as well as drawing the names for transformations, the theme was listening and writing while music was playing. This was quite difficult for some as particular music had strong memories attached and the emotional response to the music played a large part. Here is one written while listening to a slow classical piece.

The Indifference Of Pain

With no reason nor motive,
And in no doubt of attention,
Seeking not a fact nor a means,
A destructor of pleasure,
A disruptor of plans,
Disillusioning mind,
No sense of direction,
Lost in a parody of time,
Feelings are abducted and ransomed,
Replaced with falsehoods,
The imagined strike of a blade,
Or impact of blows,
Only numbness can counter,
Holding progress by conscious,
Death of sensation and wonder,
To shut out the world.

Thursday Group

The session was led by the participants themselves – so we had some very individual work being created: crocheting, collaging, comic book drawing and textile work. This enabled everyone to work on pieces important to, and chosen by, them.

Kentmere Ward

Today on the ward we shaped objects and figures out of plasticine, and then arranged them in an appropriately-sized frame. In addition, we invited participants to doodle swirling, intersecting loops, and then fill the resulting shapes with patterns to create a ‘zentangle’ – a meditative piece designed to aid mindfulness and create a more pleasant focus in the moment. Both these activities proved to be very engaging, accessible and enjoyable for all those taking part.

(A little late but….) ….it has been a busy weekend!

It has been a bust week with two events over the weekend for Space2Create volunteers to attend. An open studio weekend and a summer art fair. These events have many purposes in them for us to be part. Not least is promoting the work we are doing and getting our name known. Also it is about building opportunities for service users and volunteers to maybe take on a new role and interact with people so building their confidence. For the artists who had work on display it was a massive shot of self estem especially for those who sold work. And of course there is the fundraising element.

On all those fronts it was a successful weekend for us.


The session was led by Mat who introduced the group to the idea of straight lines! The group looked and experimented with ways of combining lines in different ways to produce abstract pictures.

Unity Session

Today the session was led by Anne-Marie from Lakeland arts in Unit 31. Ane-Marie brought along a selection of portrait fragments from the gallery after it’s recent portrait exhibition and had the group combining these with images from magazines to produce new collaged faces. They also used pen and colours to work the different sections together to more effectivly merge them. Some great images resulted.

Creative Writing

The Creative writing group carried on this week with another selection of writing ideas from free writing to poems and prose. Here is one from the session:

Creative Flow

A number of infinite ideas,
Throw a spectrum of inspiration,
Across my monochrome conscience.
This tsunami of colour commences,
With a desire to paint in red,
Thrusting angrily at pure canvas.
My foolishness retreats,
The hue is amended blue,
What went before now obsolete.
The midlands of my mind retaliate,
My thoughts becoming institutional,
And the palette now green.
Finally I lose myself,
In this inspired frenzy,
No shade with upper hand,
And creative flow reigns.

Blackwell Ceramics Project

At the Blackwell Ceramic Project this week the group were getting ready for the exhibition of their work by making voice recordings. The project has been based on a story called “The Yellow Wallpaper” so the group were recording exerts to accompany the pieces being on show.

Thursday Group

The group worked with different papers to create delicate butterfly pictures. We cut butterfly shapes from card, then the same shape from selected patterned paper, and glued the two pieces together. These were then mounted onto larger sheets of card as a backdrop. Others in the group carried on working on their collage of houses, adding machine-sewn stitches to create details and effects.

Kentmere Ward

The idea for the Ward session was to make tag books, but one participant quickly adapted the concept into making standalone decorated bag tags for their children. We therefore enabled this participant to layer images torn from magazines and/or drawn onto existing postcard templates to create tags which were personal and valuable to them. This participant repeatedly expressed their particular gratitude at being able to create these, and to pass the time by doing so, making it a very valuable session to have run.


Today the group continued with their work on colour wheels, and then moved it on to the next stage. This next stage involved making a collage of pictures from magazines, which could then be copied by sketching into something which could then be painted. The group used their colour wheels to identify which colours they might use in their collage and subsequent painting.

Kendal Summer Arts and Factory Open Studios

Things starting to get going now at K Village. Our stall all set up with loads of art spread along the railings by the river. Come down and see us and all the other fab stuff at Kendal Summer Arts.


Transformations, Openings and opportunitiy.

I have been privileged to experience and work alongside many fantastic exponents of the Art For Health movement. I myself have experienced the power of art to help. It is not the answer in itself but participation supports recovery though without scientific data to back up that bold statement I sense its truth from what I have witnessed. My first encounter was through the now closed charity WorkBase and the care of the staff there, in particular textile artist Sue Gilmartin. I was on the receiving end then. Through this I was introduced to an amazing organisation called Pioneer Projects who taught me about becoming a practitioner and the strength of community. In particular Jay the Manager at the time, Philippa Troutman an amazing print artist and Alison Clough who was part of its founding. This led to many other links such as Clive Parkinson at MMU Arts For Health Unit a passionate campaigner on the subject.

All this has gone into Space2Create. Seeing how building a strong artistic community of vulnerable people can support, extend and empower them towards recovery and a better life. If you ask what Space2Create does then I hope that is your answer.

An example of this is our Transformations project linking writers from our Creative Writing group with local artists. We are getting close now to the poems being ready to send out to our artists. And what an amazing group of artists it is that have signed up working in all sorts of media from iols to photography to textiles to print!

We are calling this Transformations not only because the writing is on that theme but to reflect the purpose of Space2Create to transform lives through art and build a supportive community. Everyone taking part is doing that.

The last week at S2C:


A select few after many went off to the Blackwell ceramics project. We took inspiration from a piece of art work by Freya Payne from 2000. This is a pencil drawing called Tower and is a comlex unreal tower. We then took very long thin paper and started to draw out our own towers on various themes from steampunk to fantasy. We also used watercolours to show the detail.

Unity Session

In the session this week one or two people still had pots to paint and Scottie Wilon pics to finish. The rest carried on with our group project to complete a giant zentangle. The gaps are starting to fill so we will see what comes to being next time!

Creative Writing

Another good session with Maggie with a mix of free writing and starters from prompts. We also had some time editing and preparing writing for the transformations project which is coming on well. Here is a non transformations poem from today!

My People

My people are as common as muck,
Their ambition so low,
It cannot see beyond tomorrow.
Their concern the next fag or pint,
And how to hide from the rent.

My people are in need and crisis,
Their hopes and dreams demolished,
They require help to rebuild.
Their views completely selfish,
Until they see new hope.

My people are sensitive and creative,
Their focus the currant masterpiece.
With tunnel vision seeking glory,
Their need measured in paint and brush,
Where finally on completion they smile in relief.

Blackwell Ceramics Project

Today was our last day to work on our tiles. We traced on the lines of our drawings. Then using a method called “sgraffito”, we carefully scraped off the dried yellow slip using the traced lines as a guide. To do this we used s blunt needle and a sharp pencil. Now they are off to be fired, ready for the exhibition beginning on July 14 in the Yellow Room at Lakeland Arts Blackwell Arts and Crafts House.

Kentmere Ward

Todays activities were based on the work of Donald Evans’ stamps, which were painstakingly designed and painted for imaginary countries, with their own produce, colourways and identities.

We could create stamp sets for individual countries or counties, imaginary or actual, even national events could be included
We had a series of printed templates which were to be collaged, painted or drawn into, to produce a set of stamps.
Also on the Templates were marked areas for Country/County name and a national flag, symbol or crest, if needed.
This project can extend to currency and other forms of imagery.

We used a copy of ‘The world of Donald Evans’ for inspiration, and a collection of catalogues and magazines for ripping up and glueing.

Thursday Group

The group looked at creating imaginative houses today. Some of the group started to build miniature 3D ones out of card and decorated them with fabric, magazines and anything else decorative. Others started to create images of rows of houses, again using fabrics and different papers. The aim was to take something we all recognised, but then look at it again in a different way to create something very unique and personal.


The WellArt group today was led by Dana. The group continued it’s exploration of colour producing colour wheels for primary and tertiary colours ready to explore the subject further soon. Managed to forget to take any photos! Will have to add after the weekend.

Exhibitions and Projects

Another busy week at S2C. For the first time ever we ended up with two different exhibitions in different places starting this week. Firstly we put up pictures at the Kendal Leisure Centre in the public gallery there where they can be seen during the centres opening hours. These were a selection of pictures from our photography group. Then there was our new exhibition in Unit 31 (Paint…Print…Photo…Ink) which has its official opening on Saturday 6th June from 12 till 4 with the Kendal mayor Chris Hogg opening proceedings.

It is also great to be involved in so many projects with the collaboration with ceramic artist Emilie Taylor and Lakeland Arts Trust now entering its final stages with a great group work being produce. Also our new Transformations project linking local artists with members of our creative writing group.

Well here is the weeks happenings


Mat challenged the group to paint without a brush. We used acrylic paint and experimented with all sorts of ways to make marks. Some used folded card, some cup rims. Ant created a portrait using twigs and painted a background. Some was abstrract and some landscape. It was a lot of fun experimenting.


Unity Session

The group were starting to create a giant group zentangle. We decided to stick to black and white. We also framed one of the finished Scottie Wilson which looked great.

Creative Writing

In this session we had the usual warm up of free writing. We then did an exersise taking a magazine article and picking out words or phrases then putting them together to make a new poem. Here is an example:

Too vain to wander the streets?
A rhetorical question.
Blue eyes shuttering,
Effervescent with excitement.
A scrap of green silk,
Lecturing me on lies,
Patching me up with Placations.
Visualising the changes,
Some minor adjustments,
Mental will to make the changes stick.
Forms not known to human science,
The thought of life without.

Leisure Centre Exhibition

Space2Create invites you to take a look at our exhibition of photographs by our photography group now on show upstairs in the gallery at the Leisure Centre. You can see them during the Centre opening hours.

Many thanks to Jamie Barnes for his hard work putting them up for us.

Thursday Group

The group looked at making images using old newspaper and books. By using different-sized fonts with different spacing and styles, we were able to build up images that had a 3D quality to them. Others in the session worked on their own individual pieces.


Dana took the session today looking at Primary Colours and using them to make more colours. The group made colour wheels to show the different colours. They made Primary, secondary and tertiary wheels in four different mediums. The group also discussed how the tertiary colour wheel and the plans for using them next week.

New Exhibition


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