A message from Creative Minds re’ Coronavirus & Art Activity Boxes
As the coronavirus situation escalates we want to reassure you of our full support and understanding during this difficult and concerning time. As many of you are aware, immediate steps have been taken by our clients, especially the care sector to restrict visitors in order to protect the most vulnerable people in our society. These measures are absolutely necessary to ensure the protection and safety of our vulnerable population across the country.
However in times of restriction and isolation the importance of activities and stimulation becomes ever more apparent. Their importance to peoples health and wellbeing cannot be understated, whether it’s music, arts & crafts, poetry, sowing, other crafts or forms of entertainment.
In light of the restrictive measures implemented across the country, in particular in the care sector we as a community of artists have been working hard to develop ‘Art Activity Boxes’.
Our Art Activity Boxes contain accessible pre-planned sessions with all the art mediums, materials and equipment required, which can be delivered straight to your doorstep.
The Art Activity Boxes are priced at £35 each (based on one session plan) and can be delivered on a monthly/weekly basis.
*Please be aware that this is dependent on where our artists are located and we may not be able to deliver to you if you are too far away*
Thank you for your support and we wish all of our clients the very best. We’ll get through this together!
Magnificent mosaic delights residents at Cloverdale Court!
CM Artist Kirsteen has been delivering art sessions at
Cloverdale Court Retirement Flats in Wallington for around 6 months. This year
they are celebrating 55 years since opening, so the manager got in touch with
Kirsteen and commissioned her to work on a project with residents to highlight
this. They decided they wanted to create a giant mosaic piece to be displayed
on the garden wall.
Kirsteen chatted to the residents to see what they all
wanted to feature in the mosaic. They all agreed on a forest theme, which would
include woodland wildlife. Kirsteen then took the time to create a beautiful
design for everyone to work on, and over the following 4 weeks residents came
together to work on this engaging project. Kirsteen provided all the materials
and they were each given their own piece of the mosaic to create. They were so
pleased to see it all come together in the final week, and the staff were
absolutely thrilled with how it turned out!
The manager at Cloverdale Court said;
“The residents really loved working on the project – in fact they didn’t want it to end! All were delighted with the final outcome, and it looks wonderful on display in the garden. The residents got so much out of working on this project.
“Many of their flats look out into the garden where they can enjoy seeing this wonderful piece on display, and they couldn’t be more proud. It’s great to watch the residents stopping to admire it. Visitors have paid loads of compliments on the mosaic too!”
Charmaine, Arnold House’s shining star!
For two and half years, CM Artist Hanna has been running art sessions at Arnold House, Leonard Cheshire, a facility for people with profound physical disabilities. During that time she formed a strong bond with one resident, Charmaine, who’s sheer determination and strength of character never ceased to amaze her. Charmaine has cerebral palsy and is unable to move from the neck down. Despite her physical challenges, she is always enthusiastic and willing to give anything a go.
When they first met, Hanna gently encouraged her to
try holding a paintbrush in her mouth and experiment with
mark-making, as she held out the paper for her to paint on. At the
end of her first session she was thrilled with what she had achieved. Since
then, Hanna has been delighted to see Charmaine’s confidence in
her creative ability blossom. Each week she loves learning about different
creative mediums and is always enthusiastic to try something new.
Charmaine attended our recent workshop at the Tate
Exchange and really got stuck in, painting feathers for
a peacock sculpture and flowers for the installation.
She couldn’t have been more excited to see some of her own creations on
display at the Tate. The look of pure joy and happiness at what she
had achieved at the end of the day was absolutely priceless!
CM Artist Hanna commented; “Charmaine is such a vibrant, fun and happy person. She is like a shining star and always makes me feel incredibly humble.”
The Tate Exchange project took place from Wednesday 15th to Friday 17th May and was a huge success! Thank you again to all of the CM Artists and their clients that attended.
Care Home Open Day is an annual event across the country and
encourages care homes to open their doors and celebrate a different theme each
year. The key values at its heart are friendship, making connections and
celebrating older and vulnerable people. This year’s event fell on Friday 28th
We were thrilled when we found out that the theme for this
year’s Care Home Open Day was the Role of the Arts in Care. It couldn’t be a
more fitting theme for Creative Minds! It was the perfect opportunity for many
Care Homes to showcase the work created during Creative Minds Art Sessions, and
on the day many CM Artists ran sessions in Care Home so that residents and
visitors could have fun getting creative.
CM Artist Karen worked with residents at Kingsleigh Care Home in Woking to decorate these pretty flower pots for the garden. On the day, they were visited by school children, who sang and recited poems. They also celebrated the work that Karen has been doing in the home and awarded her with a card and bottle of bubbly at the end of the session to show their thanks!
CM Artist Sarah Jane created a striking sealife installation
with residents at The Hyde in Bridgeport, using local Bridgeport net. They had
great fun painting tropical fish and creating starfish.
CM Artist Hanna had a busy day at Bentley House in Hertford
where she worked with residents to create these two stunning canvases which
they proudly displayed alongside some smaller painted boards. All were
delighted with the outcome of the session, and so proud to see their work on
Then on the run up to their open day, residents at Kew House in Wimbledon worked with CM Artist Kirsteen to create this vibrant, colourful sign. It was used on the open day to direct visitors to the home to their garden. It looked stunning hung up on the wall, and they had great fun working on this communal collage exploring a variety of different artistic mediums.
CM Artist Kim worked on a huge project with residents at Appleby House. On their open day they revealed a series of new garden sculptures titled “The Pillars of the Community.” Local groups and individuals were invited along to design a section of the pillar, exploring topics that were close to their heart. During their art sessions, the residents worked on each section of the pillars using clay. These pieces were later installed onto each of the pillars.
The unveiling took place on the open day, and all were delighted to see how the finished sculpture garden turned out. Many people came along to visit on the day including children from local primary and secondary schools, the Mayor of Epsom, NAPA, Care England, plus local paramedics and police! This had been a massive project for both residents at Appleby House, staff and CM Artist Kim and we are all incredibly proud at the outcome! Take a look…
CM Artist becomes Artist-In-Residence for KRAN!
CM Artist Rhiannon was thrilled to have recently secured National Lottery funding to run weekly art sessions at KRAN (Kent Refugee Action Network) for the next 12 months. She spent time living in the Middle East a few years back, and upon her return home, she felt inspired to help those who had traveled to the UK to seek refuge.
She began running art sessions at KRAN in October 2018, and was running them once a month. The sessions were a huge success, and participants really engaged with their creative activity. Now the funding is in place, she has been made their official Artist-In-Residence and will run a weekly art club at KRAN.
Many of the refugees are teenagers who have had little or no access to art education. Each week she will be providing a variety of different mediums for them to explore, whilst teaching them new artistic techniques. Rhiannon is also planning on running a number of Art Trips to local galleries to help them learn more about the work of famous artists.
Rhiannon has also secured an exhibition next summer at the
Beany Museum & Gallery, Canterbury to showcase the artwork created by the refugees.
She is making plans with a local school in Canterbury so that the A-Level Art
pupils can work with the refugees at KRAN on collaborative pieces for the art
exhibition next summer. We can’t wait to
see how it all comes together!
Here’s some examples of some of the projects they’ve worked
on so far…
They recently redecorated the reception area at the centre
and wanted it to incorporate patterns from the various cultures of refugees at
KRAN. Rhiannon cut out the shapes and they decorated each one in a traditional
cultural pattern. Each of the colourful pieces were then tessellated across the
reception desk to give this lovely vibrant finish. Everyone loves the end
In another session Rhiannon got them to have a go at
observational painting. They studied images of birds, which they then recreated
in paint. Rhiannon was astounded at their level of creativity and some
beautiful paintings were produced.
In another fun session Rhiannon encouraged them to create
more abstract work. In this session they created geometric portraits where
prints of faces were placed over watercolour and tissue paper-bleed
backgrounds. These vibrant colourful works looked really striking, and they had
great fun trying out this new technique.
Rhiannon says; “I really enjoy working with the refugees at
KRAN. There is so much talent waiting to be wriggled out of this bunch. They’ve
been creating some amazing work and I’m excited to see them grow in confidence
over the next year.”
‘The Museum of Things That Don’t Stand Still’ – Creative Minds at the Tate Exchange
We were sad to see the end of our 3-day project at the Tate Exchange which ran 15th – 17th May in collaboration with MA students from the University of Westminster. The project was themed around “movement” in response to the current exhibition at The Tate Modern by Jenny Holzer. This has inspired the project to explore ideas surrounding migration, flight and reflect on the way in which we all move through life. The project brought together a diverse range of people, young and old to explore their creativity and add their own piece of art to our interactive installation “The Museum of Things That Don’t Stand Still.”
In the run up to the event at the Tate Exchange, the students joined a number of our artists for their sessions, and created pieces of work as a starting point for the installation. Delicate origami birds were created during these sessions, plus piles of pretty hand-crafted flowers. We gained access to the venue at the beginning of the week, and all hands were on deck. CM Artists worked hard with the students, and the installation began to take shape ready for the project to open to the public on Wednesday the 15th May.
A number of our clients joined us for the event, and people visiting the gallery dropped in to take part. They had the option to create feathers to add to our giant wings, Percy the peacock, or flowers and leaves to add to a walk-through passage.
Alternatively people could come and create their own pair of
super-powered shoes. Imaginations ran wild as people had fun deciding on ways
in which they could power them up!
Participant Derek Kingsleigh said: “It’s an incredible
place with all the our flowers and leaves we made. You did so much with the
space. I’m not just impressed I’m very very impressed.”
Christine, aged 102 really got stuck in and left the session
saying: “Amazing, I’ve had a wonderful time. I’ll come again!”
By the close of the event at the Tate Exchange, you could walk down a colourful passage beautifully decorated with flowers and birds. Percy the grand peacock stood proud and tall with beautifully decorated feathers in his train. Our open wings sculpture looked vibrant, with all the pretty feathers participants added to it. The finished display of super-powered shoes looked remarkable, and included shoes that allowed you to explore the galaxy, bring light into people’s lives, shoes that spread happiness and shoes which meant they could live that day again at the Tate!
We loved each individual’s unique and imaginative take on
Our artists thoroughly enjoyed themselves too…
“It was so wonderful to see people connecting while making.
People who’d never met before from all over the world! It gave them a space to
play, contemplate and be in the moment.” Sarah Jane
“This was another example of how art elevates humanity. I
got a huge satisfaction from seeing participants so profoundly happy to be
creating art in such an amazing setting.” Hanna
What a thoroughly uplifting experience, which brought
together people from all walks of life to enjoy the benefits that communal
creative activities can bring.
At the end of the day CM Community Manager Sarah, who has been project managing the event, received this heart-warming feedback from one attendees: “I was so deeply moved by today’s event. Combining creativity, art, imagination and giving to others. It was extraordinary! You should feel extremely good and at peace in your heart.”
Magnificent murals are becoming a huge hit!
Murals are becoming a popular commission for many CM Artists, proving to be a huge hit with residents, staff, families and friends. Here are some of the murals that have been completed by CM Artists across the country…
On a warm summers night last year, whilst
residents at Tilsley House in Weston-Super-Mare slept, CM Artist Susannah
quietly set up her equipment and painted this lovely tree on the living room
wall – much to everyone’s surprise the next day! Since then, during her regular
art sessions, the residents work on different woodland creations to add to the
scene. It has become a seasonal project, and an interactive area for residents
to display artwork created in their sessions.
Last summer residents created tropical birds,
flowers and butterflies to decorate the tree.
As summer drew to an end, residents enjoyed
creating red and golden leaves, squirrels and an owl to give the tree a lovely
warm autumnal feel.
On the run up to Christmas, Susannah created
this cute fawn as an addition to the display. Stars, robins and festive
lanterns were added to give it a wintery feel.
During recent weeks the display has taken on a
fresh new springtime look, with pretty cherry blossom, tulips and bunnies.
Zoe, Manager at Tilsley House says; “This
really brightens up the lounge and residents love admiring each other’s
creations. They love the personal touch of seeing their own artwork on display,
and enjoy identifying the seasonal elements of the mural.”
Meanwhile, down in Sussex, CM Artist Sarah,
brought together residents and staff at Saxonwood Care Home in Battle. Along
with the help of some little ones, all worked together to create this striking
mural of the Severn Sisters – one of Britain’s most iconic sea-views. It was
great to have such a mix of people getting involved and each adding their own
stamp to this beautiful piece. Resident Derrick, a talented artist himself,
oversaw the whole piece, and added some finishing touches at the end. Staff and
residents are absolutely thrilled with the end result, which has really
brightened up the corridor.
Roxy, Deputy Manager said, “This was such a
wonderful project that involved so many people. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed
working on it. It is lovely to see so many residents admiring and interacting
with the finished piece. In fact, the project was such a success that we are
already in talks about creating more murals around the home. We love the idea
of creating a ‘Nightime Promenade’ scene next!”
CM Artist Karen recently completed a ‘Pet Corner’ mural at Kingsleigh Care Home in Woking. The home has a number of pets, and the residents loved the idea of seeing some of the animals on the wall. So Karen created this beautiful mural in response, and the residents were overjoyed!
Kelly says, “The residents are delighted with the new mural! It really
brightens up the area, and they love chatting about it. They were thrilled to
see their suggestions come to life and were so excited to see the finished
piece! Karen is just incredible – she adapts to any requests the residents have
and they all absolutely love her!”
CM Artist Tracey, based in Yorkshire has created a “Wishing Tree Mural” at Beech Hall in Armley, Leeds. Again residents decorate the tree according to the seasons and Tracey spent time recording everyone’s wishes, which are printed, decorated and added to the wall. The residents love this personal element and see it as a symbol of hope and positivity. In fact the mural has been so popular that the home requested Tracey to create a second one upstairs on the first floor. This was recently completed and is part of an indoor garden, which will include various interactive features for all to engage with. We can’t wait to see how this murals commission develops this year!
Creative Minds at the Tate Exchange!
In May 2018 a number of CM Artists worked on an exciting art project at the Tate Modern’s Tate Exchange led by MA students from Westminster University alongside residents from Snowdrop House, Enfield and Appleby House, Epsom. They had the opportunity to not only visit this iconic gallery, but also take part in a ‘Dreamweavers Workshop’ creating a striking installation that was on display at the gallery over Easter! This was a very moving and thought-provoking project for all involved and was a wonderful experience for all the residents who took part. Nicky, Lifestyle Lead at Snowdrop House commented: “Residents and staff made art work using fabrics and textiles to incorporate dreams they’ve had. This was such a fun exercise and it evoked different emotions in everybody involved. One gentleman use to dream about his wife whom had passed a few years previously, and he found it very cathartic. All I can say is what a fantastic day we had. And it’s not everyday you can say that you had work displayed at the Tate!”
We’re excited to announce that we’ll back again at the Tate Exchange in May, working in collaboration with Westminster University on another project! This three-day workshop will run from 15th – 17th May and is open for anyone to come and take part and add to an interactive installation.
The theme this year is “Movement” and is a response to the current exhibition at The Tate Modern by Jenny Holzer. This has inspired the project to explore ideas surrounding migration and flight, reflecting the way in which we all move through life. On the run up to the 15th of May, our artists will be working on the project and will be joined by students from Westminster University, creating art work with their clients at Care Homes to bring along to the Tate Exchange. This will be installed as a starting point to inspire the 3-day workshop.
We’ll be sharing lots of updates across our social media channels on the run up to the Tate Exchange project, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the behind-the-scenes action. All are welcome to join us for this exciting workshop!
We hope to see you there!
The CM Artists included in the project are: Hanna, Cherry, Caroline, Sasha, Alice, George, Kirsteen, Karen, Sarah Jane and Laura.
Clients include: Residents at Chiswick Care, Arnold House, Kew House, The Burroughs, Foxes Den, Mountbatten, Kingsley, Gable Court, Moor House, Clara Court, plus some clients who receive one-to-one art sessions with CM Artists.
Stoma Support Groups get creative!
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 email@example.com”
Appleby House ‘Renaming Ceremony!’
What an exciting year its been for Appleby House Care Home in Epsom!
As you may know we’ve been delivering art sessions to Appleby House for over 2 years now, and the sessions have had a profound impact on the home, staff, residents and relatives. Early this year, Shona the manager announced that in honor of their commitment to the arts they would be renaming all of the suites in the home after famous artists!
The ‘Renaming Ceremony’ took place on May 9th, to officially rename the suites. James Cropper (our Founder and Director) and Sara Hurley were invited to the ceremony, along with Sylvie (Director of Napa) and Jacqui White (Marketing Director for Care UK) who helped cut the ribbon (pictured: credit to Care UK).
James was pleased to tour the house and visit each of the five newly named suites after famous artists, Pablo Picasso, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh and Leonardo Da Vinci. The entrance to each now features a plaque in the shape of an artist’s palate with the printed surname. (pictures). After the tour James and everyone enjoyed a buffet lunch and glass of wine as a harpist played a beautiful melody at the other side of the room.
The art sessions at Appleby House began with James over 2 years ago, before passing the sessions onto Sarah and Sara our Woking and Ascot based CM Artists. Since the beginning of the year CM Artist, Sarah has been delivering weekly inter-generational art sessions at the home, involving residents and children from the local Epsom Primary School. The sessions are widely praised and highly popular at the care home and the ‘Renaming Ceremony’ has been yet another example of the homes commitment to art and the belief that it can have a transformational effect on peoples lives. You can read more about Appleby House in our previous blog posts here: