International Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference, Bristol, 2017
I am pleased to say we had a very successful time presenting at the International Culture, Health and Wellbeing conference in Bristol last week. Liz Sokoski spoke eloquently on her experiences with Art & Soul and how she came to direct the "Flow of Life" film we later screened to our audience. Many thanks to Betsy Lewis-Holmes who took time out of her busy PhD writing schedule to support us on the day. It was also pretty amazing to see the turnout of hundreds of conference delegates who were using creative activity in its various forms to enhance health and wellness. We also learned a white paper entitled 'Creative Health' is soon to launch, highlighting the increasingly acknowledged of value and potential of using creative engagement to enhance our wellbeing. Good.
I love fish. I love their shape, their movements and I think they are wonderful to draw. So this week, putting the group to the test I located a selection of fish imagery and designed a simple brief for participants to tackle the form considering the various techniques they had developed or learned during our workshops. It's important to remind ourselves what we know and what we can do and to put that knowledge to action. This doesn't have to be over complicated or over-thought, just a simple opportunity to reacquaint oneself with 'hey, I can do that' to trigger a growth mindset or cue a shift in perspective. I support this is also what I love about arts and wellbeing, the process and activity can function on so many diverse and functional levels.
From the inside - Art & Soul's guest blogger, B. Lee
Today as I was walking along in the rain along Whitton high street, someone stopped me, I didn't recognise her, she said, "you were the lady that drew the fishes!!" We stopped to have a chat and she was the daughter of one of our students who came along yesterday for the first time. She remembered me as when I left the (Art & Soul) group yesterday, I was holding up my fishes that I drew.
It's been an emotional time, am sure whether it's age or something - my brain feels it's actually changing!!! Am not as organised as I was, and sometimes I forget to charge my mobile at night, but my mind isn't a black hole, isn't a mess of various people in my life, isn't a jumble of their emotions instead of mine. So I look at something in a different way, I see objects as they are, I can draw them now in my mind, everything seems more objective, more real. It's like a hazy mist on a cold frosty morning in the countryside has lifted and there is something being unwrapped underneath, like an orange peel.
I may even start to draw at home, in the times when I am alone and threats and anger seem to come to me, how different I might feel if I drew something, anything.