In 2016, Bluecoat Display Centre ran a series of artist residencies called ‘Making a Difference’ led by 3 North West based craft makers at Royal Liverpool University & Broadgreen hospitals (RLH) and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust.
Funded by an Arts Council Grants for the Arts award, our fundraising events and our hospital partners, the artists each worked for 2 days per week over a 6 week period at the above venues. They worked with patients, relatives, clinicians, volunteers and staff in the elderly & dementia wards at the RLH, stroke rehabilitation & trauma units at BG and neurology wards at TWC.
Our 2017 cycle of artist residencies, was called ‘Making a Bigger Difference’. It was led by 4 North West based artists, each working 2 days per week over an 8 week period, at Royal Liverpool University & Broadgreen hospitals (RLH) and The Walton Centre NHS Foundation Trust and our new partners Alder Hey Childrens Hospital.
Ceramic artist Sian Hughes was artist in residence at Broadgreen hospital, working with patients in the stroke rehabilitation & trauma units, teaching patients to make various objects from porcelain paper clay (pictured left). Patients commented “Its relaxing & calming” and “I’ve been in a different world.”
Glass artist Verity Pulford ran workshop sessions at the CRU and outpatient clinic in the Sid Watkins building at The Walton Centre. Activities for the workshops included working with brusho powder colours, creating dimensional drawings, monoprinting with carbon paper, resist and watercolour painting (pictured left), ink drawings and painting on glass tiles. Staff at The Walton Centre commented “Its great to have this art group. Art is so important in a patients rehabilitation.”
Willow sculptor Caroline Gregson was artist in residence at a general surgical ward at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital. Children were encouraged to try weaving with willow rods by hand to createtheir own art works which they could take home to keep. Caroline worked with children in the communal play area and also at bedside. Hospital staff commented “We’ve never had anything like this before. Its completely different. They have something to take home at the end, its fabulous.”
Enamel artist Ruth Ball was artist in residence at the Royal Liverpool University Hospital. She worked alongside patients living with Dementia, teaching them how to make prints with ink using leaves and other shapes. This helped calm and focus the patients, allowing them to express their own creativity and enjoy decision making through artistic process. Patients commented “This is amazing” and “I learn something every time.”
PSS Outreach Workshops
Over the past 3 years, Bluecoat Display Centre have been successfully working with health and social care partners Person Shaped Support (PSS) on an outreach programme of artist–led workshops and residencies to demonstrate the benefits that craft can have on a person’s overall health and wellbeing. The first cycle ran from October 2015 – August 2016 and involved 6 x 2 day workshops. This enabled a more immersive experience for the participants. This series of workshops were funded by P.H.Holt Foundation.
PSS workshops also ran from November 2016 – August 2017 and saw new local artists working with other PSS groups. We are very grateful for the support of P.H.Holt Foundation which enabled this project.
Outreach workshops 2016-2017:
Christine Toh – card making workshop at PSS, Women’s Turnaround Centre.
Christine taught members of the group how to make a range of greetings cards. Women’s Turnaround, is a service offering individual and group work to support adult female offenders and women at risk of offending in Liverpool and Knowsley. Group members were very creative and worked well independently. They made a beautiful selection of cards and enjoyed a mutually supportive and sociable environment.
Caroline Gregson – willow/weave workshop at PSS, Umbrella Centre.
Caroline taught members of the group how to make a range of forms including deer, trees and 3D hearts using willow/weave techniques. Umbrella Centre provides recovery focused courses and creative approaches for those experiencing the challenges of living with anxiety, depression and emotional distress. Individuals are invited to attend craft courses to learn new techniques, strategies and skills with support from others.
Elizabeth Willow – paper workshop at PSS, Umbrella Centre. Elizabeth taught the group how to make simple books & bags. The group tested grains of different paper, enjoyed using traditional tools and learned terms of different aspects of book making. Umbrella Centre supports individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and emotional distress with creativity playing a powerful role in a persons mental health recovery.
Simon Shaw – Ceramics workshop at PSS, Belle Vale. Simon gave the group an introduction to making ceramic pots. Participants learnt four basic techniques of pinch pots, coil pots, sculpture and press moulding techniques. PSS Belle Vale supports individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and emotional distress.
Sally Anne Thompson – Textile workshop at PSS, Umbrella Centre. Participants were invited to make their own layered corsage from a choice of fabrics and embellishments. They were also given a choice of creating a real leather pouch to hold coins or cards. Some people also experimented with making brooches, hair clips, bracelets or chokers. Umbrella Centre supports individuals suffering from anxiety, depression and emotional distress with creativity playing a powerful role in a persons mental health recovery.
Gill Curry – Printmaking workshop at PSS, Leeson Centre.
Members of the group learned how to make a series of different prints using simple cutting tools and lino. They experimented with different coloured inks, made base prints and then made books into which they could keep the prints. The group were so delighted by working with Gill that at the end of the last session they presented her with a plant as a gift and card signed by all group members. The Leeson Centre is a peer led group. Their mission is to show that everyone is creative and that creativity can play a powerful role in a persons mental health recovery.
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