‘Future Dreaming’ Animation Launch

Future Dreaming

This beautiful animated film was created during the COVID-19 pandemic in our ‘Capturing Moments’ online (and community) Creativity for Wellbeing project. This project celebrated the creativity of women living in the Bridgend Borough and explored issues around isolation, connection, life, relationships, good times and hard times, and the things that were important to the women involved.

Using original artwork and creative writing from the group, animator Jane Hubbard created this short film with specially composed music by group member Andrea Rees. The project was funded by the Mental Health Covid Response Fund.

‘Capturing Moments’ Exhibition Film

An online exhibition celebrating the creativity of women in Bridgend Borough, South Wales, supported by the Mental Health Covid Response Fund. The women worked with Breathe Creative online once a week to capture, through writing and art, their shared Lockdown experiences. These moments have been full of laughter, support and togetherness. They have illustrated how sharing creativity can strengthen us during difficult times.

Another creation by this wonderful group is ‘Future Dreaming’, an animation using original artwork and creative writing from the group, produced by Animator Jane Hubbard with specially composed music by Capturing Moments member Andrea Rees. This will be launched online in July 2021.

Our artists have been so amazing and prolific. We will finally be having an ‘in person’ exhibition of the latest art, creative writing and digital stories that have been produced as part of this project. The exhibition will take place in September 2021.

‘Small Steps’ Animation Project Funding Success

Wave Painting

Hurrah!

We have received funding for a new animation project with Ty Canna Mental Health Outreach Services in Cardiff. Our facilitators, Jane Hubbard and Katja Stiller, will offer weekly creative wellbeing sessions; listening to, sharing and working with participants over the next few months.

This project will help participants to find a more positive focus,  to manage their life transitions, build creative coping strategies and, hopefully, reach calmer waters.

Small Steps will run from June – October. This project has been funded by The National Lottery Community Fund.

We keep you posted!

Mental Health Awareness Week 2021

Sun on water

Mental Health Awareness Week takes place from 10-16 May 2021. The theme this year is ‘Nature’. 

One in four people in the UK will experience a mental health problem each year. Mental Health Awareness Week aims to get people talking about their mental health and reduce the stigma that can stop people from asking for help.

We want to hear your stories of how nature has supported your mental health. This might be as a simple as tending to a house plant, listening to the birds, touching the bark of trees, smelling flowers or writing a poem about our favourite nature spot.

Mental Health Foundation

We would like to thank our funders The Baring Foundation , Cardiff Council (for our work with Ty Canna in Cardiff), and the MH Covid Response Grant (Cwm Taf Morgannwg Health Board) for our project ‘Capturing Moments’ in the Bridgend area, with support from BAVO and Interlink RCT.

In the year ahead we are planning to build on our Mental Health for Wellbeing Programme with new projects and funding in the pipeline for exciting co-production projects with Mental Health Matters Wales and Diverse Cymru.

Favourite Places for Mental Health Awareness Week


To mark Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 our online creative wellbeing group  at  Ty Canna decided to each  to walk to their favourite place,  describe what it felt like and  take a picture.  During the pandemic, nature and the beauty spots in our walking distance have become even more important. Allowing us time and space to connect to nature is not a luxury but essential for our mental health.

River scene
Bute Park Millennium Bridge

I just sat watching and really looking at all of the details that I hadn’t been aware of before. The way the water flows at different rates across the span of the river. The huge variety of trees and plants the range of greens but in so many shades, so many different textures. Realising that this was the habitat for so many different creatures I must have  seen at least 10 different birds all so busy and focused not a care in the world. Just doing what needed to be done. I watched as the clouds gently moved,  creating different shadows on the water. Why have I never noticed these things before?

Debbie

Being out in nature is a time to breathe, take stock and see how the seasons are changing.

The opportunity to see other people walking, a chance to say ‘hello’ and that brief connection with another human being, even though being out can be difficult and sometimes a struggle to achieve. That is so important to me, living alone. 

Nature is always there and for that I am thankful.

Val T
Sun on water

Sometimes when I’m locked in my own head, and my thoughts are spiralling round and round I venture to my favourite place, the sea!

This is where I can breathe in the crisp air into my lungs and let the wind blow away the negativity from my brain. I listen to the waves, lapping up on the shore and mumbling over the rocks. It soothes the soul. 

The seagulls chatter up above, looking for their next meal….the sun is setting, a red and orange glow as it sinks into the sea. The coast cleanses my soul, my body relaxes and my thoughts drift away into a blissful nothingness.

Mike F

Picture of Blossom

Cherry Blossom

One of my favourite places at the moment is Pontcanna fields. If I feel cooped up inside, it’s the best place to go to lift my mood and get the endorphins going. 

I walk down the avenue and feel free! The trees intertwine with each other and I feel like I can go on forever. I never feel alone, I am surrounded by others probably feeling the same way, smiling and acknowledging each other with eyes if we can’t see our masked smiles.

A coffee in my hand helps lift me; I make it last for as long as I can even if it gets cold! I was half way around the field when I spotted this blossom tree. The breeze blew the petals from their branches and they floated around my face like confetti. It had an amazing calming effect, amazing; tranquil, so I took this picture.

Jenny A

My favourite Place – My Garden

Garden scene

My favourite place and sanctuary is my back garden. I get to look at the lovely flowers I’ve planted and the work I’ve put into my garden to make it tranquil and peaceful place to relax. I sit outside listening to the wind chimes clanging in the breeze and hear the birds singing in the trees and the relaxing sounds of trickling water coming from my water features. Feeling relaxed in my peaceful tranquil safe space. Seeing my cat, Poppet, lazing around the garden in the warmth of the sun watching the clouds floating by breathing in the air releasing all the negative stuff from my mind. At night my garden comes alive with lights sparkling and twinkling in the dark from all the solar lights that make it look so pretty.

Zoe D
Wool

I love to sit in my garden watching the birds. Coal Tits, Sparrows and Wrens. All silhouetted by the sun shining down onto the Custard Yellow Barbarous.  They fly free, without a care in the World, unrestricted by Government Regulations.  Choosing to build their nests, lined with softest Llama wool, wherever they want. Six nests, safe in the Holly Bush, each twittering with hungry mouths to feed. Soon, they will fledge, fly away, to be replaced by a second brood.

They show me that life still goes on. That Nature in all her wondrous ways triumphs. Often against the odds. I soak up the Sun’s warm rays and forget, feel great to be alive. 

Lorraine B

I love Forest Farm.  Cycling there lifts my mood.  People are friendly and fellow nature lovers, I feel connected to them in our city oasis.  Last time a Great Tit fed from my hands.  I felt so privileged.  It’s an experience I will never forget.    

 Nature helps me to slow down, turn my face to the sun and breathe a bit deeper. 

Sarah D

My Favourite place in nature

I stride on the cobbles and smell in the concoction of sea air and fish and chips. The sky is blue and the pier is alive, with energy, candy floss and Brighton rock engulfs my senses. 

The seagulls perch on the cliffs as the sun radiates the beauty of the sea.

Amy K
Sunset

Horizon

My mind is a whirlpool

my body  made of concrete 

like a tiger in a cage I am pacing 

I grab my coat and start to walk

crossing familiar roads 

Avoiding   other walkers

my steps falls into a rhythm

my heart beat  slows

not far now

only one more corner to turn

I the distance I can see the horizon

I almost run down the steep hill 

To the waterfront 

Out of breath 

I watch the waves dance 

the seagulls sailing through the clouds

water washes the pebbles 

as it has done for 

billions of years

A gentle reminder of  the bigger picture 

I feel calmer 

breathing in the salty air

Everything slows down

Mind and body in sink

Re -energised

I make my way back home.

Kat

‘Beyond the Label’ Mental health project final report

Lockdown Map 2020
Lockdown Life 2020

In 2020 we partnered with Ty Canna Mental Health Outreach service in Cardiff, a Cardiff-based citywide recovery-focussed Outreach service for people with mental health needs.

Over a period of three months, from May to July 2020, service users met weekly online to create artwork and writing for an animation that reflects their lived experiences of mental health conditions.

The extra challenges of lockdown meant that collaborators weren’t able to meet in person, but this was overcome to produce this rich and wonderful collection of work, a selection of which was used by Jane Hubbard to create the animation.

As well as this, contributors worked with composer and sound artist John Rea to create individual sound pieces of themselves reciting their poetry, sometimes singing and playing instruments.

Check out our full final report on this fantastic project which was funded by the National Lottery Community Fund.

Challenging our inner critic with creativity for wellbeing

Ty Canna wellbeing group
Ty Canna wellbeing group

In one of our  Creativity for Wellbeing  groups this week, we looked at our inner critic, how to challenge it and how to change the script:

Breathe

You are doing your best 

Be a friend to yourself

Remember 

Today is tomorrow’s yesterday 

You can live 

Keep going 

Don’t worry it is not the end of the world

Don’t rush, breathe and take your time 

Love yourself 

Enjoy the learning 

Keep believing in yourself 

You can do this!

‘Capturing Moments’ for Wellbeing in 2021

Capturing Moments project flyer

We are happy to announce that we’ve been awarded funding for our exciting new Arts at Home mental health and wellbeing project from the MH Covid Response Grant.

This project is part of the Welsh Government’s COVID-19 response to the pandemic, supporting wellbeing through engagement with health boards, local authorities and the third sector.

During this project we will be connecting with people using creativity as a tool for increasing wellbeing, reducing social isolation and creating a gallery of work to help people express themselves and share their world with a wider community.

With support from Cwm Taf University Health Board, BAVO, Bridgend County Borough Council, Interlink and Welsh Government.

Season’s Greetings

Cardboard house model

Gan ddymuno Nadolig Llawen iawn ichi a’ch teuluoedd a Blwyddyn Newydd Dda

Wishing you and your families a very happy Christmas and New Year

For a festive workshop with Ty Canna we designed a simple template of a house, so that each participant was then able to decorate it themselves, with an LED light to go inside, so the participants could carry their design to a small garden around the house. We spent a fabulous session talking about home, our lives and hopes for the future, whilst making our festive houses, all with much laughter!” 

(Emma Jones, Arts Facilitator, Breathe Creative)
Ty Canna Creativity for Wellbeing workshops (Beyond the Label)
Ty Canna Creativity for Wellbeing workshops (Beyond the Label)

This year we have been been very lucky to have had the opportunity to share creativity with amazing people, with many challenges, working mostly on line and using creativity for wellbeing. 

This has been such a hard year for everyone, but we have shared, laughed, cried, created, co-operated and connected.

Thank you to all our participants, funders, friends and partner organisations. We look forward to working with you in 2021. 

Stay safe.

Alex Bowen, Director, Breathe Creative

‘Beyond the Label’ World Mental Health Day Project Launch

Blue bird flying high

We are so proud to launch our project ‘Beyond the Label’, working creatively and using Arts for Wellbeing with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund and working  in collaboration with Ty Canna Mental Health Outreach service in Cardiff.

Over a period of three months, from May to July 2020, service users met weekly online to create artwork and writing for an animation that reflects their lived experiences of mental health conditions.

The extra challenges of lockdown meant that collaborators weren’t able to meet in person, but this was overcome to produce this rich and wonderful collection of work, a selection of which was used by Jane Hubbard to create the animation.

As well as this, contributors worked with composer and sound artist John Rea to create individual sound pieces of themselves reciting their poetry, sometimes singing and playing instruments.

Many thanks to contributors: Jen, Judith, Nick, Sarah, Mandy, Maddy, Ellie, Kate

Special Thanks to Lewis Rigley and Ty Canna Mental Health Outreach Service

Facilitators: Katja Stiller and Sarah Featherstone

Animator: Jane Hubbard

Composer and Sound Artist: John Rea

We would like to thank the Lottery for financially supporting this project. 

Community Fund

Co-Creative Arts – A Work in Progress

Art with Emma, Fish Puppet
Art with Emma, Fish Puppet

I am pleased to announce that I have received funding from the Arts Council of Wales‘ Stabilisation Fund for the project ‘Co-Creative Arts – A Work in Progress’. I will be working collaboratively with project development workers Katja Stiller (freelance Creative Expression Specialist) and Rhys Hughes (Counsellor/ Trainer/ Social Worker).

In this project we will be developing and exploring our Co-Creative Arts approach through experiential and sharing sessions with Community Artists and partners in Wales during, and coming out of, the Covid-19 Lockdown.

This such an important time of change and this project will form part of an exciting creative response within Community Arts in Wales. We will be questioning how we can best adapt our creative work and practice for the new ‘normal’ world of the future.

This will inform the development of our Co-Creative approach and we will be documenting how Community Artists are working in the current situation; their issues, concerns, creative solutions and what they might need in terms of support, safeguarding, training and their own wellbeing.

Alex Bowen, Breathe Creative