Brand *new* Art on Prescription project

This coming Monday, Beauty and Utility Arts and Little Bird SOS will be starting a brand new partnership project.

Art on Prescription, funded by North West Leicestershire’s Staying Healthy grant, will run at Measham Medical Centre until June 2016, offering practice patients opportunities to join in one of two six week arts based projects, either via GP/IAPT referral or self referral.

Art on Prescription aims to create a safe, relaxed space for patients experiencing low level mental ill health to explore their creative side away from everyday worries and concerns.

Our project will be evaluated for efficacy and impact of arts based interventions for patients and staff within GP surgeries.

Rikke Digerud-Waring – Arts and Dementia

Peg collage x 3

Rikke is a Leicestershire artist Beauty and Utility Arts have worked with on a number of projects and she has very kindly donated two pieces of her own dementia themed artwork, which now sit outside our Atkins Building office in Hinckley. You can drop by and see Rikke’s artwork any time the Atkins building is open.

In Rikke’s own words …

My artwork is often inspired by the human conditions and related to memory, culture and diversity.

I like to take real, everyday objects and transform them into something extraordinary.

This work was created just after my mother-in-law was diagnosed with dementia.

I wanted the work to be a tribute to her but also to other people who have been affected by dementia so they could identify with the symptoms.

Orchids:

The last time she stayed with us, before going into a home, Peg would ask again and again what day it was. We would tell her and then a few minutes later she would ask again and get them mixed up. She loved flowers and always tended them with care. The decayed orchids symbolize the decay of memory but are also quite beautiful and poignant in themselves. Just like memory.

Daisies:

Again connecting Peg with flowers, the daisies symbolizes how her memory went “on and off”, bit by bit and in the end she did not remember who I was. A profound moment in any relationship.

Launching our You Tube channel on Alcohol Awareness Week …

Beauty and Utility Arts now has a You Tube channel so we can share even more of our Arts and Health work with you.

The launch has tied in nicely with Alcohol Awareness Week ( 18th – 22nd November) and the release of a piece of work we’ve been busy with since the Summer on the topic of alcohol misuse.

Together with Lunchbox Films Beauty and Utility Arts worked with adults within council supported alcohol groups covering Hinckley and Bosworth, Oadby and Wigston to develop short film for selected local secondary schools. In addition we’ve produced a teacher’s pack for Key Stage 3 and 4 students.

‘By combining the knowledge and lived experience of all project partners and participants we hope we have produced a piece of animation and schools training pack designed to educate, stimulate independent thinking and encourage informed personal choices around the subject of alcohol misuse.’ Katherine – Director, Beauty and Utility Arts

We’re giving you advice based on our own real life stories.’  A 

Take a look at the video here and get in touch for further details about the pack or producing something similar for your own organisation.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MGg4u6Qi4v4&feature=youtu.be

Libraries ain’t what they used to be ;o)

I love libraries.

The smell and feel of well handled books, the memories of visits as a child with hair still wet from the swimming baths, the potential for learning and discovering all come flowing back into my mind as I step into one.

Beauty and Utility Arts has been working closely with North West Leicestershire District Council on a number of arts and health initiatives recently and back on October we teamed up with Lisa Pidgeon of Little Bird School of Stitchcraft.

Lisa’s blogpost on her own website sums the whole experience up perfectly, so we hope you enjoy…

 

Wellbeing Hi-5 :: Bombing Coalville Library

Those of you that are regular readers of my blog will know that I am passionate about the relationship of arts/crafts and health and wellbeing.  I was lucky enough to be able to attend the Culture, Health and Wellbeing Conference in Bristol earlier this year and since then have been forging my career in this direction.
Throughout the month of October, Leicestershire (my home ground) is celebrating the ways in which the arts, culture and heritage contribute towards health and wellbeing.  The ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ is used as a framework to deliver a programme of over 200 wellbeing events taking place across the shire.
In total I have been asked to deliver 3 workshops  for Creative Leicestershire and 1 workshop for Beauty and Utility Arts as part of the Wellbeing Hi-5 celebrations. This first session took place in Coalville library on 10th Oct.
Katherine Brown, from Beauty and Utility Arts, ran a session of papercrafts making bunting and flowers and, for the younger crafters, characters from Goldilocks and the Three Bears…

The Knitting Gurrillas of Birstall (KGB) were recruited to do a special yarn bomb and participants were invited to hide allsorts of little items on the bookshelves and between the pages of books.  Yarn bombing is a way of brightening up an area and, in the case of the KGB, making people smile…

Mr Hissing Sid liked the nature section…

The mice liked it in the children’s section especially the little dark corners…

The younger borrowers had fun yarn bombing…

And later we enlisted the elder borrowers to have a go at hiding woolly gifts between the pages of books.  Pink for pink lovers…

Bookworms for the classic readers…

Crafty bookworms for the craft lovers…

Since the workshop I have had a message from the library staff who to say that they have spotted people finding the knitted lovelies and that:
“It’s great to see the delight on their faces when they find something.  I hope it is bringing lots of smiles”
I think the KGB would agree that this is mission accomplished!

The Concordia Gallery

As part of my job at BUA I am in charge of the lovely little gallery space held at the Concordia just around the corner from our office and studio – since August 2012 I have been responsible for the organising and overseeing of the three exhibitions that began from January 2013.

It’s not always an easy job but it has been a lot of fun so far!

As I’ve already mentioned since January we have held three exhibitions; the first was with Jaswant Flora – an illustrator who graduated from University of Northampton in 2012 with flying colours, her work showcases intricate designs that make the viewer question the content and broader meaning, drawing on her Sikh upbringing and love of all things street art the work is truly unique and completely gorgeous!

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Next up we had Jane Neal, a more traditional artist working in water colours and producing some of the most stunning landscapes that I have ever seen!! Her work went up in the gallery in March and she sold several artworks in her eight week run!

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Come the end of April it was time to take down Jane’s work and introduce Zac Cummings droodles to the gallery space. Zac is in an incredibly talented young man who is still at college whilst making these colourful, quirky and full of character artworks. We extended Zac’s exhibition for a month so that Hinckley’s German twinned town Herford could see the work on their upcoming visit at the end of this month!

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In the coming months we have a further three artists’ works to look forward to – all like me have just graduated from De Montfort University and all produce amazing art that has had me awe-inspired for the past four years; they are, Miriam Duffield, Kerrie-Louise O’Donnell and Gemma Neilson.

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Miriam Duffield, 2012

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Kerrie-Louise O’Donnell, 2012

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Gemma Neilson, 2012

Their works vary hugely and I’m really excited for the gallery to host works showcasing colour, form, architecture and the habits of young girls on the internet in this “selfie” generation. Miriam’s work will be installed from July 29th until September 16th, Kerrie’s from September 16th until November 11th and Gemma’s from November 11th until January 6th!

 

If you, or anyone you know, is interested in exhibiting at the Concordia in 2014 here is all you need to know: you get to exhibit your work for eight weeks to the theatre’s staff and visitors and we don’t charge a penny for hire or commission on works sold – it is a great opportunity for emerging or studying artists to get their work and name out there! If you’re interested please email me at caitlin.beautyandutilityarts@hotmail.co.uk to get the ball rolling!

 

 

Caitlin

Guest blog – Helen Gyngell

Beauty and Utility Arts have been involved with the placing public art with an Arts and Health context into a few Leicester Health Centres now and last Autumn we were pleased to work with Helen Gyngell again at the Melbourne Road Healthcare Centre on Melbourne Road.

If you ever find yourself at any of the healthcare centres in Leicester mentioned in earlier blog posts, pop in and have a look at some of the work we’ve supported and in the meantime, enjoy Helen’s post.
Melbourne art project - Helen Blog

Guest blog – Deborah Bird

I hope you’ve all had a fab Christmas and are currently relaxing in the limbo bit before New Year’s Eve!

Over the next week I’ll be posting some guest blogs from participatory artists Beauty and Utility Arts has had the pleasure of working with over the last six months. Deborah Bird starts us off, writing about a creative workshop for our Friday Arts and Health group …

‘Christmas Birds’ workshop

On Friday 30 November I visited the Beauty and Utility Arts studio to deliver a workshop with the ‘Points of Interest’ group.

In 2012 I visited the Grand Canyon National Park as artist in residence for the US National Park Service and came to the group to share my experiences and do a creative activity.

During the workshop, I took the group into the Creative Hinckley gallery space at the Atkins, where I have an Arts Council funded exhibition called ‘Grand Canyon 2012’ and gave a brief talk about my experiences in the canyon and my work; which involves the use of paper sculpture and ice photography in the landscape.

During the ‘Christmas’ themed workshop, the group made and decorated paper birds using some of the techniques that I uses in her work.

We had a great afternoon. My own work tends to be quite abstract so I designed a project using paper, 3D and inks that we could all enjoy. Everybody really got stuck in and between us we produced quite a flock. And of course with a surname like ‘Bird’ this has to be one of my favourite topics!

Deb Bird workshop POI 2

Deb Bird workshop POI 7 Deb Bird workshop POI 4 Deb Bird workshop POI 3

Arts sessions with families experiencing homelessness.

Last Wednesday artist Rikke Digerud and I did an arts session at an East Midlands Housing Association venue over in Melton Mowbray with three families experiencing homelessness.

The children involved were so excited about getting all the arts materials out and making their own version of a desert island and once again their talent and enthusiasm rubbed off on the adults in the room, so in the end everybody was having a go!

Below are a few photos of the work produced, which will be displayed for all families to see and I’m sure you agree, there’s some definite artistic talent emerging.

During the second half of the session Rikke worked on hand casts with everybody and once we;ve started decorating them in the next session, I’ll get some more photos up.

Enjoy.

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