Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter August 2019
A really bumper issue this month, so grab a coffee [or tea] and read about our upcoming co|Create courses, there's an Artists opportunity to apply for and there's also a free training programme for creative volunteers. Our weekly creative peer groups are also continuing through the summer and we've been inspired by those of you taking part in the Creative Wellbeing Challenge.  We hope there is something that appeals to you and please do share this newsletter with a friend or colleague who might be interested. Thank you!

I was lucky enough to catch the recent production of Uncle Vanya at Theatre Royal Bath last week, in an updated version by David Hare. Although knowing the play of old, I was struck by how relevant and contemporary the issues dealt with in the play are for us today. This is, in my reckoning, the mark of a great play. The two themes that struck me were firstly the environment and secondly mental health, and especially its connection to loneliness.
It is with incredible foresight that the character of Dr Astrov talks about the significance of our physical planet and the gravity of chopping down trees. Both his moral and ethical reasons for being a vegetarian are still today at the heart of many an environmental dialogue.

Vanya himself and his niece Sonya are desolate characters and, again, so much of what they talk about; the sacrifices they have made in their lives, the isolated geography they have grown up in, their desperate search for meaning in their lives, are so apposite to many people's lives today. As Chekhov was himself a doctor, I believe he had a canny insight into people's mental health issues and it brings it home when watching the play that mental health is certainly not a construct of the twenty first century, rather inherent in the fragilities of human beings.

To counter many peoples' feelings of isolation, we are great advocates of the 5 Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Keep Learning, Be Active, Give, Take Notice. These lie at the heart of this month' Creative Wellbeing Challenge. Its not too late to start and I am sure you will love the focus it gives you in being able to enjoy creativity in your own environment, at your own pace, and with your own friends and family. Check out our website for details about how to take part. I would especially recommend it for those who have kids during the lengthy summer holidays!

We also have three stimulating and informative co|Create sessions coming up: Care and Practice with artist Ania Bas is, I am sure, going to be one of the best sessions we have delivered in a while and essential for any socially engaged artist out there regardless of your creative discipline. Secondly, we have another iteration of our Creative Resilience Programme that will give you the tools to carry on in your career even when things are looking decidedly difficult. The programme not only gives you tools for resilience in your life and career, but also in boosting your creative practice and unlocking your creative spirit. Finally, after a sold-out and highly successful session last year, Jill Carter returns with The Art of Creative Journaling, with a focus on documenting your thoughts and ideas.

Enjoy the sun (and the rain)!

Director, Creativity Works

Upcoming co|Create Courses

Care and Practice: How to nurture oneself and others, and make work that matters with Ania Bas -  Monday 19 August

We are very excited to be able to bring this fascinating, high-profile, socially engaged artist to Bath for this one-off, inspirational workshop and urge you to take part if you can. 

Ania Bas is an artist and arts project programmer who works across text, performance, publishing and social engagement to create situations that support dialogue and exchange. 

Through her work, Ania explores ways of working, making and thinking together that can challenge modes of participation, bringing together people from diverse communities andmaking art relevant in everyday life.

Her work has been commissioned by the Tate, Whitechapel Gallery, Art on the Underground, Radar and Yorkshire Artspace. See  for more information about Ania and her work. 

She is a co-founder of The Walking Reading Group that she runs with Lydia Ashman.

Using walking and writing as a practice, this workshop will develop you as an artist through exploring how you establish good practice foundations and consider the pressures to perform and achieve as an artist, whilst also nourishing yourself and others.

The structure of the workshop:
  • Short presentation from Ania
  • How to walk - methodology
  • Walk & conversations around Bath
  • Writing/reflection session
  • Group conversation and questions
Please be prepared to walk around the local area and to also read material ahead of time so you can make the most of the time with Ania and your fellow artists and creatives. 

If you have any accessibility requirements please call Stacey on 01761 438852 or email  to discuss how we may support you to access the workshop.

When: Monday 19th August
Time: Arrive 12.45pm (start at 1pm) ends at 5.00pm
Where: The Gardeners Lodge, Sydney Gardens, Sydney Place, Bath BA2 4DB [ The workshop involves walking around the local area]
Cost: Full price £40 / Student £20 / Pay what you can (for those in receipt of benefits)

Read our Q&A with Ania by clicking on the image below

Creative Resilience Programme - Thursday 22 August

We know how difficult it is to sustain a career in the arts; especially socially engaged arts. Our approach uses evidence-based research and best practice to explore themes of Self-Awareness, Diversity and the impact of your Environment. Develop tools to grow your personal resilience, concentrating on Adaptability, Re-framing, Maintenance and Support-Networks. The programme is not only delivered creatively, but also uses creativity itself as a central theme.

Artists taking part will develop skills in recognising situations and settings that could have an adverse effect on their mental health and wellbeing and their ability to work creatively, as well as finding ways to increase their confidence, outlook and support networks, and ensuring they are well-equipped to deal with the obstacles that both life and career present.

Refreshments and notebooks will be provided but please bring your own lunch!  As there are only 20 places available booking is essential.

Date: 22nd August, 9.30am - 4.30pm
Venue: The Natural Theatre Company Studio
Cost: Full price £50 / Student £25 / Pay what you can (for those in receipt of benefits)
Book [Eventbrite Link]:  Creative Resilience Programme

*PODCAST* What is Creative Resilience and how can it help me?

We've recorded a short podcast with Oliver Jones, Creativity Works and Christina Sanders, Writer & Socially Engaged Artist who will be facilitating the Creative Resilience programme on the 22nd August in Bath. 

Listen in to find out more about this exciting course and its benefits to you as an artist. See also our article from Sarah Dixon, one of the artists involved in developing the Creative Resilience Programme further on in this newsletter.

Click on the link here or click on the image above. The link will open in a new window to our Soundcloud page.

The Art of Creative Journaling with Jill Carter - Thursday 12 September

Join us for an inspirational day exploring  the Art of Creative Journaling with Jill Carter, Multi-Media Artist.

Creative Journaling is an open-ended process, which can be  expressive, intuitive, practical, poetic and playful!

This Artists' professional development workshop will offer space and time to explore ideas around how to use a journal to document thoughts and ideas in relation to the Self, people and place, journeys and everyday life happenings.

Discover inspiration for visualising ideas, exploring new ways of working, and reflecting on creative projects and possibilities. Experience collective/individual journaling, working outside/inside, using a diverse range of mixed media and methods, including inks and mark making, drawing into writing, textiles/stitch, and collaging curious collections of found and made objects and ephemera.

Enjoy making your own unique journal pages; outcomes can be private or public, or developed as a means of social engagement.

Workshop materials provided may include:
Inks, felt tip marker pens, pencils and crayons, paper, newspapers, old books, magazines, photographs and postcards, cardboard, textiles and sewing stuff plus machine.

What to bring:
Bring own journal, which can be a current personal or project notebook or smart new thing, an old found vintage book, your own favourite art materials - pens, inks, paints, brushes, etc. Plus photos, old drawings and/or paintings, ephemera, textiles, etc. Please bring apron and warm weatherproof outer layers (we may spend some time outside, weather permitting) with your own lunch.

When: 12 September 2019
Where: The Gardeners Lodge, The Holburne Museum, Sydney Gardens, Sydney Place, Bath BA2 4DB
There may be opportunities to go outside as part of this workshop
Time: Arrive to set up 9.30am (start at 10.00 am) close down at 4.00pm
Cost: Full price £50 / Student £25 / Pay what you can (for those in receipt of benefits)
Book [Eventbrite Link]: The Art of Journaling with Jill Carter

Creative Wellbeing News & Opportunities
Artist Opportunity: Radstock
Experienced creative facilitator required to share creative ideas and skills that can be developed into future projects by a peer led creative wellbeing group. 

Radstock Wellbeing and Loving Life Group would like to work with an experienced artist facilitator who can inspire and enable their creativity to develop. Sessions will involve trying out a range of different creative ideas and art forms over a period of 6 weeks that will support the group to plan and develop further ideas for their own programme of activities over the next few months. The group mainly works with 2D and 3D visual arts.

If this facilitation opportunity is of interest to you please outline your ideas for the 6 x 2 hour sessions on no more than 2 sides of A4. Also send us a short CV and summary of any relevant experience facilitating community wellbeing and mental health groups. Feel free to attach any images that may support this application. Artists will need to have a current DBS check and public liability insurance. Artists fees for this commission are £450 plus up to £150 for material costs.

Deadline for applications extended: Tuesday 27th August at 12.00 noon
Interviews will take place on 4th September in Radstock and the sessions will be delivered in October and November. 

Please send applications by email to . If you require any further details, please contact Philippa or ring 01761 438852.
Creative Volunteer Training & Placement Opportunity
Do you have creative skills to share? Would you like to use them to make a difference?

Creativity Works and St. Mungo's are offering a new Creative Volunteer training programme with placements for anyone who would like to volunteer with community groups and support creative skills. You may already be part of a community group or you may wish to develop your skills to support a creative group.

The free training will give you the opportunity to develop facilitator skills and learn how to support groups creatively and safely and  will run on Thursday mornings in Bath over 6 half days starting 24th October 2019, with an optional training day on the 3rd October.

Placements include supporting creative activities within a group, supporting the set-up of new creative groups, helping people to attend community art groups,  supporting publicity, marketing and admin of groups through design and media skills etc.

For volunteers that complete the training and take up placements there will be further opportunities to take part in Creativity Works co|Create Artist training days with no charge.

Training Days:
  • Thu 3rd Oct Managing Challenging Situations - ½ day [optional]
  • Thu 24th Oct Facilitator skills - ½ day
  • Thu 31st Oct Facilitator skills & using the Facilitator toolkit - ½ day
  • Thu 7th Nov Creative Facilitation - ½ day
  • Thu 14th Nov Safeguarding - ½ day
  • Thu 21st Nov Boundaries - ½ day
Other optional free training:
For more information contact Philippa at Creativity Works 01761 438852


There is also a Peer Mentoring Training programme starting on Tuesday 27th August.  This is designed to enable volunteers to support individuals to access a group for the first time, support them to get the most out of going and to achieve their aspirations. If you'd like to know more about this please c ontact Claire Lawrence, Peer Mentoring Coordinator Tel:  07736457670 email:
*New Course in Shepton Mallet* Futures Bright
Cultivate a Positive Mind through Creativity
Would you like to create some positive change?

This empowering 12 week course is a mix of practical and creative skills aimed at helping you uncover your potential and learn new resources to support your wellbeing. During the course we'll explore positive thinking to help shift mood and cope with stress and challenge.This course is suitable for those experiencing mild to moderate mental health issues. 

Meet, socialise, make new friends. Learn about the 5 Ways to Wellbeing & self management tools. Identify skills and abilities. Work as part of a team. Set your own goals. Look to the future with greater confidence, motivation and hope. Create a tool-kit to take away. Develop creative skills.

When: Wednesdays 12.30pm - 3pm starting 18th September 
Format: [ 1 hour for creativity and 1 hour for self-help techniques]
Where: The Art Bank, 13 High Street, Shepton Mallet, BA4 5AD

Course dates: 18th, 25th September, 2nd, 9th, 16th, 23rd October,
6th, 13th, 20th 27th November, 4th, 11th December 2019
To Book and for more details contact: Philippa 01761 438852
Writing Space Peer Group
Would you like to develop Creative Writing Skills and connect with other writers and the world around you?

Writing Space, one of our peer-led groups, is currently exploring the theme of 'Looking Back' through exploring memories, events in our lives and how fiction styles use this to fire-up the imagination. They are working towards an anthology and attending some spoken word events and invite you yo join their weekly sessions:

"Come and join us to learn simple practices to rebuild confidence in writing, draw on life experiences and kindle creativity through words. The focus is on enjoyment, sharing and connecting with others through creative writing"

Some sessions will be facilitated by writer Christina Sanders between now and October and one will be facilitated by Sara Firman on  3rd September 2019.

The group meet on Tuesday afternoons 1 pm - 4pm, central Bath

About Writing Space

Writing Space is a peer-led project for people of all writing skills who would like a safe place to develop and present their writing. The group is suitable for adults who would like to support their wellbeing and mental health through creativity. Please note that there is no specific mental health support, but safe, respectful space is a priority. 

Some practices will be outdoors, weather permitting. Wear clothing suitable for easy walking and weather protection.  To join in c ontact Philippa Forsey either on 01761 438852 or email
Get Creative Peer Group 
exploring creativity and visual arts
Are you looking to experiment with different arts materials and techniques? Our Get Creative peer-led visual art group in Bath, could be just right for you. The small groups' aim is to support personal wellbeing through creativity. We'll let the group introduce themselves...

"We are a social group of people who like to explore art through new materials and mediums, learning new things and sharing new approaches. We meet weekly to create alongside others and bounce ideas about. It's a nice atmosphere, a safe, friendly, relaxing space to experiment and try out new techniques. It's  creative time for myself'" 

Tuesday afternoons 1.15pm - 3.15pm Odd Down

The weekly group offers an opportunity to meet others, learn and share creative ideas and gain confidence in a safe and friendly environment.   All members help plan further sessions and creative activity.

If you would like to join  please contact Philippa 01761 438852
Foxhill / Combe Down Photography Group 
Would you like explore your local community through a lens?
An opportunity to experiment with photography, share stories about the social history of Foxhill / Combe Down whilst  learn new skills and creative ways to express yourself.  Take part in a short walks and discussions. 

Thursdays 11am-1pm Foxhill Community Centre.
Bring a camera / smartphone / tablet if you can)  although n o previous experience is necessary. 

Contact Max for details and to register interest: 01225 316199 
or please contact Philippa 01761 438852
Keynsham Snap & Stroll Peer Support Group 
Starting in September, explore Keynsham through a lens
Photography group - walk and explore the local area - meet weekly on Wednesday mornings to take photographs and explore the local area. 

Bring a camera / smartphone / tablet if you can)  although n o previous experience is necessary.

Contact Max for details and to register interest: 01225 316199 
or please contact Philippa 01761 438852
Other News 
Holding Space: A new exhibition opening in September that will be supporting us, Creativity Works.

Walcot Chapel, Walcot Street, Bath.
Wednesday 25th-Saturday 28th September, 10-6.

We are very grateful to 'Holding Space' a collective of ten individuals who have recently completed the Art Therapy Foundation Course at Bath College, for choosing us as their charity to raise funds for at their first exhibition next month.

"We hope that by sharing our stories we can create a platform for others to experience some of the benefits that Art can bring at a therapeutic level and in doing so raise funds and awareness for the Bath based Charity Creativity Works," said Alicia, Ali & Victoria, three of the artists.

"However artistic you may or may not consider yourself to be, whatever your experience of art and creativity in the past, we would like to illustrate how it has helped us process, unlock, understand and acknowledge aspects of ourselves and our lives," they added.

The ten artists involved are: Michelle, Alicia, Ali, Victoria, Jess, Jo, Vanessa, Briony, Polly and Katie. Find them on Instagram @holdingspaceuk.

We hope that you'll be able to go along to see their exhibition when it opens in September. 

Creative Wellbeing Challenge 2019 Inspiration
The Creative Wellbeing Challenge has started and we are being greatly inspired by those who are taking part and sharing their responses to the creative prompts. The first week has focused on 'Taking Notice' and here's just two of the wonderful variety of creativity we are seeing so far:

Text reads: As part of the Creativity Works week there has been a nice challenge (#creativesummer19
#artshealthwellbeing) to take time to see afresh our community. I took the challenge last night to visit our local park. A challenge because for me it is no more than a cut through to get my paper. Last night however I stopped. None of these plants amongst an almost wilderness area originally stood out. Until I looked again and closer. The intricacies, the light and shadow, the hairs or thorns, each had their own uniqueness, each their own life's story of struggle and bloom. So much to enjoy and ponder when we stop.
Text reads: 

You can still join in by signing up here: The Creative Wellbeing Challenge. The theme for Week 2 is ' Keep Learning' and the email with the week's creative prompts will be sent out on Thursday 15th August. 

Artist Profile: Sarah Dixon
Sarah Dixon, an artist who has worked closely with Creativity Works [CW] over that past few years and who was one of the key artists in the development of our Creative Resilience Programme, has recently been chosen as one of the Social Art Network/Kickstarter artists. We caught up with Sarah and asked her to share with us what she's working on and how she became one of the kickstarter artists:
I'm a socially engaged artist with an interest in subliminal rituals - the procedures we all buy into without really consciously noticing, (such as getting certificates from institutions.) Based in Stroud, I set up the Women's Art Activation System (the WAAS) with Sharon Bennett and a group of other female artists - we hosted several events to explore and support women's art. Sharon, also a socially engaged artist, and I consolidated and formalised the collective last year and have since developed a participatory performance piece called 'The Bureau for the Validation of Art' which has toured to Art Licks London and Social Works'? Live, Manchester. It is this piece and some of our Activation works that we will be sharing on Kickstarter - 'Send the Bureau to Frieze New York 2020!' 

I came to some CW events when I was beginning this social evolution of my practice in around 2014. I had presented a work called 'Painting by Numbers' at the Stroud Site Festival 2013, and realised I needed to tap into a wider network of socially engaged practitioners. I came to a workshop with Darren O'Donnell from The Mammalian Diving Reflex - this was so inspiring and impactful and it resonates to this day. It led me to become more involved with CW, and I joined the Steering Group which was great for deepening my understanding and meeting more artists in person. I then became an adviser on the Creative Resilience programme, bringing my background in biology and my work in communications to bear. CW has really helped me identify as a socially engaged artist and gain confidence in that identity, so its undoubtedly played a part in getting us to this point. 

Its fantastic to be selected - although quite daunting too as we really have to raise our profile and take risks with the project. Its a great chance for us to learn about fundraising with a wider public. We have thoroughly enjoyed playing the Bureaucrats and deciding whether works are really Art or not, so we want to develop it internationally. In the piece we take a work through a series of questionnaires that interrogate the audience, the artist, and the work itself. The process allows us to decide whether something is really Art, and if so, it gets a Validation docket with a stamp. We have noticed that although its all in fun and very playful (the questions are based on cliches about art, such as 'Could your 5 year old have done this?' and 'Is it big? Is it aesthetically pleasing? Do you live in a garret or attic?') in fact artists also take the ritual quite seriously and can be quite relieved when they find out that they have in fact made art. We had a discussion about protecting vulnerable artists from rejection which was very fruitful. Is there anything that won't get Validated? You can watch a clip here.

We want to take the Bureau to Frieze New York and challenge the gatekeepers that hold the power and access to the 'art world' and the market for art. Who gets to validate an artist as important, significant and expensive? Frieze NY seems a great location to raise this question: two middle-aged, tired, frustrated white women, both raising small children, presenting themselves as an authority of an absurdist definition of what Art can be and making sure that Frieze really is presenting Art to audiences. Be Art Aware! The Kickstarter really could kickstart the Bureau to another level so we are pretty excited about the campaign and even if we dont get our target we will have had a great experience challenging ourselves. 

Social Art Network and Kickstarter put this program together for 10 selected socially engaged artists/collectives to be mentored through the crowdfunding process.  Kickstarter UK noticed a trend of socially-engaged work coming through on the platform and they have at the heart of their mission to support artists. The programme runs through to autumn and will result in a kit for other practitioners to use to set up their own campaigns. So really we are the guinea pigs and other artists can learn from our mistakes! 


Follow them on Instagram and Facebook to see how the project evolves. The projects all launch on October 1st and they will be sharing the process as they go. 

Sarah Dixon
Sharon Bennett

The Women's Art Activation System

Other Opportunities & Events
Co-Creating Change - commissions are open
Two updates from Co-Creating Change for the summer...
Project Commissions are open
Rounds 2 and 3 of the Co-Creating Change Project Commissions are now open.
Round 2 closes at 5pm on Monday 16th September 2019. Round 3 closes at 5pm on Monday 18th November 2019. There will be no gap between the two rounds in terms of submissions, so if you miss Round 2, you can immediately submit an application for Round 3 using the same guidelines and application form.
You can find out more and apply for a commission   here.
If you applied in the last round and were unsuccessful, you are welcome to apply again with a different project.
You don't have to be a Co-Creating Change member, or an arts or cultural practitioner, to apply for a commission.
Next network gathering - recommendations of brilliant co-creation facilitators
The next Co-Creating Change [CCC] network gathering will be happening in early November 2019.
Plans for this gathering are for it to be as practical and workshop-focused as possible a nd so for November, and CCC are looking for some facilitators who could run workshops - people who are at the top of their game in co-created practice, who could share practical ideas, tips and exercises based on their co-creation methodologies. People who really get to the heart of what co-creation is about.
Do you have any suggestions of who those facilitators might be?  Who are the absolute superstar co-creation practitioners who could run group sessions that will excite and inspire us, and who are also really good at articulating the methodology behind what they do? If you have recommendations, please get in touch with both Maddie Wilson and Marina to let them know.

Co-Creating Change is a collaboration by the Battersea Arts Centre. Please contact them if you have any question about the commissions or networking event. Tel:  020 7326 8224 Web: 
Battersea Arts Centre, Lavender Hill, London SW11 5TN
SANE Creative Awards Scheme
The SANE Creative Awards Scheme aims to improve the quality of life of people with mental health problems, their families and carers, by helping them fulfil their creative potential. The scheme will make grants to individuals to enable them to engage in creative and educational activities.

The scheme builds on the tradition of awards given by SANE under its previous art awards scheme and invites proposals for visual art. For the purposes of the scheme, visual art encompasses all forms of painting, drawing, printmaking, photography, mixed media and digital art. For the first set of awards, we will be focusing on proposals for visual art only. We would, however, welcome it if these could include a brief written description of how the art reflects and communicates a person's individual experiences.

Awards will be given to cover or contribute to the cost of materials, specific projects, training courses or towards providing replacement care in the case of carers who apply. They will range from £75 to £300. 

For the full details on how to apply please download the documents below:

SANE Creative Awards Information
Application Guidelines
Application Form

For more information contact Thomas Andrews Tel: 020 3805 1790 email:
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