Creative Harvesting

These past weeks I’ve been aware of the abundance of fruits and vegetables in the hedges and at the allotment, and also of the wonderful harvest moon on the 14th.

For the first sessions of the Creative Wellbeing courses, new people have come and some who had been coming for a while have left to try new things. This is good for the energy of the group, and I am looking forward to what this autumn term manifests creatively.

I asked participants to brainstorm what they have harvested this year. What has been nourishing or inspirational? What has given them sustenance, or has been a stepping stone to keep moving forward? What can be stored to help maintain their wellbeing through the coming months, and what can be let go of?

harvestIt is also Autumn Equinox, and a good time to look at the theme of Balance. As the leaves begin to fall and the weather gets cooler, Mother Nature begins preparing to turn inwards.

My good friend who blogs here, writes:

What I’m coming to understand about balance is how much of it requires accepting our darkness.

Especially at this time of year, as the nights become longer, it literally is a call to start residing in the dark – getting comfortable with the shadows.

It is brave to express the darkness within, as well as the light. But creating art with a therapeutic focus allows us to access deeper knowledge and self-insight than if we simply talk about our feelings.

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As therapist Meredith Janson says here, talking about anxiety or sadness engages the linear, rational part of our mind. But picking an image to express the anxiety and then creating a painting or collage of this feeling engages nonverbal, intuitive abilities. It’s in that deeper level of expression that we often make discoveries and get to the real roots of change.

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A Brief History of Healing

Opening of the sister exhibition at Hearth Gallery, Llandough.  See ArcadeCampfa website for more details.

A Brief History of Healing is a collaborative partnership project between ArcadeCampfa, the Cardiff and Vale University Health board and visual artist and mental health service user Gail Howard. For the last two months Gail and artist/writer Sarah Featherstone have been working with patients, staff and visitors to University Hospital Llandough running basket weaving, creative writing and printmaking sessions via a repurposed drugs trolley. Through dialogue and art making A Brief History of Healing traces the patient narrative, focusing on the value of a therapeutic environment, particularly within an institutional context.

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With the arrival of Social Prescribing on the NHS and in recognition of the value of cultural, creative, social and physical activity in relation to our health, BHoH invited visitors to add their own recommendations for meaningful activity/a therapeutic environment in relation to our wellbeing.

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The split site show will be open at the Hearth Gallery, University Hospital Llandough from 12 – 30 September.