This summer we have been offering on-line creative wellbeing workshops for young people using different art forms to explore how the pandemic has been affecting us and the techniques that have helped us manage. We have been working with support from our partners Ty Canna Outreach Services in Cardiff and their young service users, with funding for this programme from The Community Lottery Fund and The Baring Foundation.
Through a variety of different creative exercises, such as free writing, word association and working with themes and prompts, our group worked hard to create an expressive piece which represents how they felt stepping outside after being inside for so long. Some of our main focuses were nature, dreams and our concept of reality as people who experience mental health conditions.
We think that the film they created film represents a universal shared experience of how sometimes the only steps we can take each day are the small ones, and also that by connecting with the outside world we can start to reconnect with our own inner landscapes to improve our sense of wellbeing.
Here is some of the feedback from the group:
Working on this project has been an absolute pleasure and we are indebted to Katja, and the rest of Breathe Creative, for their help and guidance to create such an outstanding piece of work. Everyone involved should feel very proud and appreciate the immense effort and creativity that has gone into making this project.
I enjoyed working on the film and I particularly liked working with the sound engineer to put the music and spoken words together. I found the project quite therapeutic and I’m pleased with the finished result. I hope that whoever watches the film and listens to it will feel a sense of comfort and companionship and the awareness that they are not alone in the way that they fee l… The film is particularly good for encouraging and practicing mindfulness meditation as you focus on the sounds, words and images.
This art that we were able to compose as a group has been a coming together of incredible minds. Sharing the colours of our lived experiences, thoughts and emotions paints a picture that is unique yet universal to all of us. We are all under one sky, seeing with different lenses.
I can relate to the video. I feel trapped myself; the video will help others to understand what it is like to struggle with your mental health.
Breathe Creative has been a fantastic opportunity to communicate and share a creative experience with like-minded people. It is a welcome new addition to my weekly routines and I have found the expressive writing exercises to be particularly beneficial to my mental health. In this project we were able to work with Tic Ashfield, a music composer and sound engineer. Tic showed us how to manipulate the audio that we had recorded. As an aspiring music producer this was an incredible learning experience for me, I thoroughly enjoyed watching her bring our creations to life. I am grateful to have taken part in this project and would recommend it to anyone who’s struggling with their mental health and wants to express their creative flare!
Being involved in the Small Steps project was inspirational. Such a joy to see such creativity and individuality from everyone involved. The diversity and variety of ideas was incredible and how everyone came up with such good, different ideas from the same brief was awesome. It’s amazing what we can create when we work as a team!