We have been making ‘invitations to create’ to help people rediscover the world on their doorsteps in creative ways. Research clearly shows that being creative like this helps people feel better, even when life is really confusing, which it certainly is now. Whilst the digital world enables crucial connectivity, our screens can ‘suck us in’. These invitations encourage you to step out into the world around you, reconnect with all your senses and with the pleasures of noticing, listening, making and shaping.
Five artists worked together on the programme during the first lockdown. Each invitation invites you to explore the spaces you are in, especially the natural world on your doorsteps, in new ways using only the simplest of materials and everyday objects. No special art skills required. They invitations shared here were produced during lockdown and each had a particular ‘audience’ in mind:
- Filipa Pereira-Stubbs and Caroline Wendling for younger children and their families.
- Hilary Cox Condron and Sally Todd for teenagers and young adults.
- Susanne Jasilek for adults of any age.
We share them all here together as pdfs to download or view on your screen so that anyone can enjoy them, depending on whether you are being creative alone, or with your family and friends. Some are also introduced with short films by the artists too.
This project originated in lockdown when we couldn’t be physically together - everything was planned and created remotely. We have decided to maintain the spirit of this as we create new films to support others to access these resources - these are all filmed via our zoom bubbles. We are learning how to be connected yet apart through this work.
In September 2020 we began working with youth charity Centre 33, sharing boxes of materials and invitations with young people they support. The staff have described how this emphasis on creativity and creative practice has helped them think about their own well-being in new ways as well as offering them another focus for their conversations with the young people they are working with: We speak with young people really struggling to cope. This project is a great way for them to engage in an activity which helps them to focus on their wellbeing in an enjoyable and creative way. It can also be a really helpful tool to help us to engage with them whilst they are awaiting further interventions for their mental health or emotional wellbeing. Lucy, Engagement and Support Project Worker.
This short film below was made by Sally and Hilary to introduce themselves and the ideas behind the boxes.
In October artists Hilary and Sally began working with three young artists connected to the LGBT+ charity The Kite Trust. Their role is to create a new version of the Creative Care Box for families with younger children who are seeking support for LGBT+ questions. They are bringing their own particular skills and individual experiences to this new role and we are excited to be developing the project with these young leaders. Hilary and Sally are supporting them throughout, meeting on zoom to share planning and offer guidance and advice.
I wanted to get involved in this project as I find art to be incredibly therapeutic and hoped my contribution could help others explore their queerness through art. I’ve had lots of fun coming up with my offer and thinking about how nature supports us in our day-to-day life. Noah
I wanted to be a part of this project to help to bring creativity to challenging times. I’m really enjoying coming up with fun ideas to include in the art box! Riley
This project has given us a way to provide activities for some of our younger service users at a time when we can’t get together face to face for games, art and discussions like we have previously. Being able to have these activities shaped by some of their older peers creates meaningful connections between different age groups of young people at The Kite Trust and a chance for young adults to develop their artistic practice. Pip Gardener, Chief Executive of The Kite Trust
We will be building galleries of work created on our website and would love to see any artwork that others might create. Please share it with us and help build a creative and connected community. Send us a photograph and some words to describe it – using twitter, facebook or Instagram and the hashtag #creativecare or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
We worked with many others partners during the first lockdown lockdown to send these out in the post too alongside boxes of specially chosen art materials. You can read details of these projects and more about the origins of the programme here.
The Creative Care programme was devised in partnership with Arts and Minds and Blue Smile for the FullScope consortia.