Small Steps

Wave Painting

Small Steps 

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!

‘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.

Creating Calm Photo Gallery Week 3

Billie

We’ve been in lockdown for many weeks now and the world has changed beyond all recognition. In this odd time we are connecting with people through our online arts projects. Here are some photographs from people who we are working with – colleagues, communities, friends and families sharing what our lives are like at the moment.

Creating Calm Photo Gallery Week 2

Stay Positive, Have Hope

In this strange time we are trying to connect with people through online arts projects. It is a vulnerable time for everyone. Here are some photographs from people who we are working with – colleagues, communities, friends and families sharing what our lives are like at the moment.

Creating Calm – Creative Cooking

Drawing of cooking ingredients

We’ve just entered Coronavirus Lockdown in the UK and we’ve been looking at how we can reach out and connect with people and maybe help them, just a little, to feel less isolated. With our new “Creating Calm” programme we will be doing just that.

In this Zoom session, our food expert Sian helps our group to make the most of the food in their cupboards. This week, they attempt Bread and Butter pudding.

This project is part of our Creating Calm programme, in partnership with Ty Canna Outreach Service and funded by the Coronavirus Resilience Fund.

Community Foundation Wales

Creating Calm Photo Gallery

Bluebells

In this strange time we are trying to connect to the most vulnerable people through online arts projects. Here are some photographs from people who we are working with – communities, friends and families are showing us what their lives are like at the moment. Come back and have a look again, as they will be adding to this online gallery documenting this unusual time in all our lives. Stay safe all.