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world mental health day.

This year for world mental health day I’ve been part of a session entitled “creating calm” at the museum I freelance at. Using experiences from other sessions during the year and working with another practitioner we had drawing and a hands on activity for the visitors to take time, slow down and be at one within the time and space.

Heres how the event was described in the advertising
“We are bringing together World Mental Health Day and the Big Draw to create some calm in our busy lives. Visit the museum and get involved with drawing and contemplative activities that will help you feel refreshed and content.”


My week has been very full on so being part of this session today was a perfect tonic.

I’m keen to share my experience as the room felt such a wonderful place to be with participants following their own lead as to what they made.

for the hands on activity I had three sizes of gravel ( stones ) and a selection of small ash twigs and slightly larger sticks of willow. In response to one participants needs we also added some wool.

family island

triangle

peer to peer

The black and white image is black and white because the young participant who made the assemblage had recently been shown by a family member how to edit his photographs. He shared this knowledge with me and I now have this black and white image.

This session demonstrated to me how a museum can be a social space - housing artefacts and at the same time being a welcoming space to create and converse. I found myself having several really interesting conversations.

One conversation took place while I added marks to an image I had begun earlier in the session. The drawing is the collaboration of four people plus one unknown - the red marks were already on the page.

4 + 1 collaboration


After I took this picture I offered the drawing to the family and they were delighted to be able to take the image home with them. They had told me they were on a day trip to the museum.

kite

another family told me they have sticks and stones in their garden at home yet hadn’t considered how they might play with them to create images and patterns.

Now back at home I reflect about my afternoon spent with people I didn’t know, sharing experiences and conversations. At the end of the session I felt relaxed and full of beans.

 

i'll leave you with my favourite construction of the afternoon :)

 

dragon egg