Welcome to Espression Arts’ first blog post in a while! We are excited to share with you all the new and exciting opportunities, we can offer groups and organisations we work in partnership with. We have changed direction over the pandemic focusing on our social enterprise values. In this blog, we discuss 5 Arts and Wellbeing benefits to Espression Arts for you or your clients or your organisation!
1 - Arts and Wellbeing activities help cognitive abilities, brain function, problem-solving and creative solutions, enhancing the lives of people living with dementia. We have built a growing reputation of working to support hard-to-engage individuals and groups getting them to participate in and enjoy collaborative art projects. Many of our clients and volunteers have life-changing physical and mental health issues which can be helped using creative projects and engagement in arts of all kinds. We have developed tools to enable people with limited movement to paint, blind people to use sensory approaches to mark-making and rolling clay helps exercise arthritic hands. Collaborative projects embracing everyone’s participation connect people in a fun way like no other project can.
2 – Taking part in creative arts and wellbeing projects use imagination and release creative expression in everyone taking part (this includes some people watching too). We build rapport with even the most disengaged clients over time encouraging participation and inclusion. Many of our older clients haven’t done anything creative for a while (or ever) and need encouragement to participate. Everyone can express emotions and feelings through and whilst making or watching others make.
Espression Arts connects people using all kinds of art mediums. We specialise in decorative ceramics and pottery as a beautiful, mature, and respectful method for engaging vulnerable people in activities. It’s a craft people can’t do at home, it’s special to look at once fired and its creation makes a wonderful lasting memory or gift. Espression Arts works with all ages but has focused work over the past 4 years working with older vulnerable people 65 – 100+ years old which has been extremely rewarding and at times moving.
3 – Arts and Wellbeing and creativity helps to reduce anxiety, help individuals to relieve stress, and enhance feelings of relaxation. Building up 3 layers of glaze onto the pottery is methodical and mindful. Clients have discussed being distracted from physical and mental pain they carry in day-to-day life whilst chatting and making. Worries and negative thoughts are set aside for the duration of the workshop and participants find themselves being more open in conversation with the other like-minded people who can empathise or offer experience and solutions.
4 – Our arts and wellbeing approach focuses on collaborative working towards an amazing common goal, a showpiece or legacy from our sessions. Every individual painting a group of tiles to contribute to an overall mural or mounted ceramic composition. Our projects are supported by trained and mentored, Arts and Wellbeing Volunteers, older people themselves each with a unique story. Encouraging creativity in others offers individuals an enhanced sense of achievement. Feelings of purpose and increased self-esteem and pride when they see the final piece fully glazed and bright from the kiln and the enhanced happiness of participants.
5 - Creative arts and wellbeing starts conversations between people and connects communities involved in any make. Projects create social opportunities, friendships an environment full of colour and fun. You don’t have to be an artist or have a history of creative ability to take part, but everyone can find something they can enjoy in our making process. Even watching others be creative has its benefits and there is always tea and cake to make everyone continue smiling.
Espression Arts and Wellbeing in Summary
Thank you for reading our first blog in a while which focused on the benefits of Arts and Wellbeing on vulnerable groups and participants.
Our Workshops have so many benefits. We have discussed improved health, enhanced creativity and relaxation, reduced anxiety. Increase sense of purpose and feelings of usefulness in older people helping and taking part and finally, our activities are always fun and ways to connect communities using creativity.
If you would like to find out more about the benefits of arts and wellbeing to our clients, the project locations we are lucky enough to work in or to discuss how to get Espression Arts to visit your client’s email Catherine@espression.co.uk