Creative Minds are delighted to be working closely with Colostomy UK who will be rolling out an art project next year that will run across Stoma Support Groups across the UK. This will be part of Colostomy UK’s“active ostomates” initiative – designed to empower people with a stoma to participate in activities to increase both physical and mental wellbeing. These activities are undertaken in a supportive environment to enable ostomates to build their confidence before taking up similar activities in the wider community.
Colostomy UK strongly recognise the emotional benefits that creative activity brings and they back Stoma Support groups across the UK. These groups bring people together in a friendly, supportive atmosphere to sensitively address issues that people face after stoma surgery.
Our artist Karen ran a wonderful taster session at the East Berkshire Ostomy Group in September. Participants had the opportunity to explore their creativity during a fun, relaxed 90-minute art session. Some stunning landscapes were created and attendees enjoyed experimenting with different techniques using soft and oil pastels. Many had never even used these mediums before!
A second taster session took place in November with Creative Minds Artist David at Wrights Meadow Centre, High Wycombe. It was a very autumnal theme and David gave participants the opportunity to either paint onto cut-out leaves or to paint from observation. Most participants said that they were not artistic in any way, and went with painting on cut-outs, but as the session progressed they got stuck in and began to really enjoy themselves. A couple of people commented to David that they found it very relaxing and therapeutic, and came away from the session feeling good.
Giovanni from Colostomy UK says; “We have heard some fantastic feedback from the Creative Minds Sessions and are looking forward to pushing this out to a wider audience in the near future. Anything we can do that encourages Ostomates to participate in activity, build up their confidence and get back into the community adds significant value to the people we support. To find out more about how to sign up for the project please email firstname.lastname@example.org”
Children at a Kenyan School Get Creative!
Our CM Artist Grace is a trustee of Dominion Schools Africa – a charity that provides financial support to a Kenyan school and helps to assist the school in providing high-quality education. In November, she went out to Gachie, in Nairobi to visit the school. The school year runs from January – November, so she arrived just as they were preparing for their end of year graduation which celebrates the 6-7 year old’s moving up to the junior school.
Grace saw this as a perfect opportunity for the children to get creative in preparation for graduation day. There is very little creative work in their school curriculum, and the school didn’t have many artistic resources. Grace had taken over some paint brushes and the school had pots of powder paint. That morning, Grace went shopping with the school’s head teacher and purchased some sturdy material to paint on. They decided to make some wall hangings on the theme of the biblical creation story.
Children from the school dropped in and out throughout the day and absolutely loved getting involved! Many had never had the opportunity to paint on such a large scale before. They even made some of their own paint using local earth mixed with water. The teachers were absolutely blown away by their efforts and thrilled to see how enthusiastic the children were.
Grace wanted every child in the school to have a go at creating their own self-portrait to hang up on graduation day. They experimented with mixed media and used paint, crayons and collage to create their own personal portrait. All were thrilled with the results!
The school is generally very structured with little opportunity for creative expression. At the end of the session, Grace allowed the children to have free reign to explore ways of using the artistic materials, and create whatever they wanted to. They all went wild and loved the freedom of the activity, saying how much fun they were having.
The school had never displayed artwork on the walls before, but the teachers loved the difference it made to the building. The teachers were thrilled to see how happy the children were during the art session, and chatted to Grace to discuss ways in which art could be brought into other subjects such as history and geography.
The children were so proud of their work at the end of the day, and were delighted to see it hung up on display. Before she left, one little boy came to Grace and said he’d had the “happiest day ever”!