Creativity Works

Creativity Works Newsletter
November 2015 
Read all about our current work - do get in touch for more info or help us spread the word.
Click on the links below to read more: Top
Directors Blog

It has been quite a while since our last newsletter and during this period we have been creating some extraordinary public art work through our Pentagon project. Inspired by the 5 Ways to Wellbeing, five socially engaged artists have created highly engaging and unusual public art pieces inspiring dialogue, debate, community development and a huge amount of fun!

All of our Pentagon Artists were fortunate to attend our recent International Residency where we hosted Darren O'Donnell from Canadian company, Mammalian Diving Reflex. Darren put us through our paces, took us well out of our comfort zone and quite honestly through some of the most terrifying and exhilarating work I have done in years. We hope to work with Darren again in the future and thank him for an eye-opening 2 days. If you haven't seen it already, click here to watch the film that was made about this event.

In other news, we were very pleased to see the launch of B&NES Creative and Cultural Strategy last month at The Holbourne Museum. I was on the steering group for the strategy and it is great to see that it has been launched and adopted by the current administration. There is much work to do in bringing it to life and embedding it within our sector, however we are very happy it is here!

We were also very happy recently to host Hannah Hull for a co|Create event entitled, "What is Socially Engaged Art?", held in partnership with Bath Artist's Studios. Hannah is an expert in this field not only as a practising artist, but also as a scholar and critic. Her presentation of the historical building blocks that have led to this art movement was fascinating, as was a description of her own work in this field. It was an inspiring event that resonated with all of the artists that attended.  A video of her talk with be shared on our website and Facebook page in a week or so.
The series continues on Monday 23 November at 6-8pm at Bath Artists' Studios where Bristol-based socially engaged artists Ali Brown and Rebecca Swindell share their work and inspiration. I look forward to seeing some of you there.

Finally, it was great to be invited to a lunch with Darren Henley, Chief Executive of Arts Council England, where I was able to tell him about the work Creativity Works delivers in Bath and North East Somerset and beyond. We chatted about recent advances in arts and health work and our socially engaged approach, some of which, I hope, may be of use when he meets the Chief Exec of NHS England soon.


(Director, Creativity Works) 
SEA Change on your Doorstep: Sharing the caring
Come and hear about the quirky and moving work of two leading local socially engaged artists

Come and hear about the quirky and moving work of two leading local socially engaged artists, Ali Brown and Rebecca Swindell in our Creative Conversation series exploring socially engaged art. Ali describes herself as a creative collaborator, story teller, maker dreamer and explorer of spaces in between. She's probably best known for Knitiffi - giant knitting installations around health care settings. Rebecca works in sculpture, drawing, installation and filmmaking and was shortlisted for the 2012 Jerwood Drawing Prize. Her work is "concerned with documenting human behaviour and illuminating the perspectives of individuals". She is interested in how wider forces such as economics, politics, fashion and social norms shape and affect people's personal lives. She recently completed a socially engaged project "Tea stories" that explored the former use of Spike Island's current building as a former Brooke Bond tea factory.
They'll be talking about their work, inspiring us, sharing ideas generously, and maybe even getting us making as we discuss a few provocative questions.
A great chance to meet other artists in a friendly atmosphere and broaden our perspectives. Perhaps you'll even meet someone to collaborate with or spark an idea with.
When: Monday 23 November 6-8pm
Where: Bath Artists Studios, Comfortable Place, Bath BA1 3AJ
Cost: £5 to cover costs (price includes a free drink and snacks)
To book, click here

An exciting opportunity for artists of any medium to team up with a theatre devising project

An exciting opportunity for artists of any medium to team up with a theatre devising project
focusing on women and mental health inspired by a Gothic short story is on offer in late November and mid December, with the aim of the artists contributing to an exhibition/ installation of their work documenting the process at Bath's 44AD gallery at the end of January.

Bath Spa University Senior Lecturer in Drama and Acting, Mary Steadman, has received Arts Council England funding to do a research and development creative process called
Borderlands on women and mental illness using the story of "The Yellow Wallpaper" written in the late 19 th century and the evocative photography of Francesca Woodman.

The project will include a co|Create meeting where Mary meets with the observing artists to talk about the process and have a dialogue.

Read more on the opportunity here. 

To register you interest, please contact

Creative Peer Support Groups looking for members

We currently have spaces in these two lovely groups, so please do let us know if you would like more information or if you know of anyone who would be interested in joining. 

Download poster here.

Download poster here.

Writing Space is a peer led creative writing and poetry group for people with experience of writing who would like to meet others to share ideas and mutual support in the writing process. 

Creative Perspectives is a new visual arts Creative Peer Support Group running in Bath weekly on Friday afternoons at Bath Artists Studios. The next two sessions in November will be print making  including lino printing and mono printing. 

Contact to book or for more details. 

What would you like to do?
Let us know if there is a particular art form / creative project which could benefit the wellbeing and mental health of you or someone you know, living in BANES? Feel free to get in touch - if we have enough people interested we might be able to put on a course! Contact
Volunteer Opportunities
We're looking for volunteers to share their cooking and catering skills!
'Food For Thought' is a project which has developed out of the wonderful world cuisine of Minds' Mosaic Group. St Mungo's, Mind and Creativity Works have joined forces and our brave and dedicated participants have been very busy catering for events and activities such as World Mental Health Day and The Keep Safe, Keep Sane's Carers Confidentiality report as well as Green Park Station Artisan market and other street stalls.  
We are being asked to do more and more events on weeks days and at weekends and we would like to find some more volunteers who would like to meet new people and make friends and learn and share their cooking and baking skills.  
We will be doing pop up supper evenings at the Bear Pad Cafe in Widcombe, more street stalls and events. 
If you are interested or would like to find out more, please contact Ailsa on 01761 438 852.

Samina, Jude and Ailsa at the Artisan Market - Food for Thought.  

Artist volunteers
We also have opportunities for  artist volunteers who would like to support group delivery either shadowing an artist or supporting creative groups to develop their own ideas. For more information please contact

Pentagon Project
Highly engaging and unsual public art pieces

Over the past few weeks we have seen the Pentagon Project come to fruition with some amazing examples of public art. 

Firstly, Take Me to your Hero saw Carrie Love travelling up and down the main high street of Peasedown St John engaging the public and asking them to nominate their local heroes. From Mothers to Butchers to Supermarket workers, the generous and game people of Peasedown interacted with Carrie's winged throne, nominating and celebrating those close to them and those who make a real difference to the community they live in.

Secondly, Megan Clark Bagnall enthralled Radstock with her project Needle in a Haystack. For a week, she invited the public to visit her worry disposal unit, writing down their anxieties and then shredding them in her purpose-built unit. The dialogue, honesty and expression created was truly inspiring and Megan finished off the project by creating a haystack nearly 2 metres tall at Victoria Hall from the shredded worries that she had collected. A needle was placed in the haystack and the community went ahead and searched. The winner was our very own volunteer, Frederick (no cheating honestly!) who was celebrated and paraded before his adoring public!

In Midsomer Norton, Carrie Love and Ali Brown spent time working with young people and Elders alike, consulting them on their ideas for The Townarium, a town planning project like no other. Their ideas for the town where they lived and the community they lived within where highly imaginative and wildly extravagant and were brought to life in model form by Carrie and Ali in the library and spilling out onto the street. They also spent 2 days in the library itself consulting, engaging and facilitating a debate into what the community really wants from its high street and surroundings.

The Treasure Chest of the Cherished and Treasured saw Elizabeth Jane Lovely travelling with her stunningly crafted chest from Midsomer Norton, to Keynsham, to Radstock encouraging the community to bring along or create their own treasures to be added to the chest. Elizabeth had an incredible response to her mythical journey that we hope will continue for some time to come as the public responded to each other's glorious offerings and made beautiful artefacts to fill the chest. Watch out for the chest coming to a place near you soon!

Finally, we are still working with Shiva Page to create her astonishing sculpture, Milling Around - an interactive windmill-inspired sculpture which involves the community of Twerton in designing and creating decorative aspects of a sculpture which will take permanent residence at Bath City Farm.

The team at Creativity Works, our volunteers and artists have thoroughly enjoyed working on this project and we hope it will return next year! We would especially like to thank Becky Fox, Roz Mascall and Fiona Winning for your help on this project.

The Townarium - Ali Brown and Carrie Love

Take me to your hero - Carrie Love

Treasure Chest of the Cherished and Treasured - Elizabeth Jane Lovely
The Worry Disposal Unit - Megan Bagnall Clark
The Treasure Chest of the Cherished and Treasured - Elizabeth Jane Lovely
Bath Divers
What we did in our holidays - Social Acupuncture: Quick and Real. Check out what happened when 19 artists met together in Bath in August to challenge themselves and learn how to make art from engaging with the public from the inspirational Canadian company Mammalian Diving Reflex.  
International Residency with Mammalian Diving Reflex

Arts and Health South West Conference 
Booking deadline is this Wednesday

Just a reminder that the booking deadline for the annual conference on the 17 November at Buckfast Abbey closes on  11 November.  You can book  here 

Friday 27th November 2015, 9.00am | TATE Liverpool
SYMPOSIUM:  "Breaking Into the Temples of Culture: Exploring Arts, Health and Wellbeing Initiatives in the Community"

Following on from the  first I4P symposium on arts, health and wellbeing in November 2014, this event will build on some of the elements which emerged from the presentations and plenary discussion at the first event.  It will explore the different ways in which what Gary O. Larson called 'the temples of culture' in American Canvas  (1997: 59) seek to engage with the community, and develop a more participatory involvement with the arts.  The event will take place at TATE Liverpool.

Profile: An insight into working with Creativity Works
A Focus on: Steve Hedley - Artist

What is your connection with Creativity Works?
An Artist
How did you first come across Creativity Works?
"I went to the doctors with various issues, and the doctor asked me if I could write them down and I said I could probably draw them. The Doctor then said I have a talent for drawing! He asked if I'd thought about getting into art? He told me there were companies I could get involved with and he gave me the contact details for Creativity Works and I got in touch with Philippa. She told me about the Fresh Arts project, which coincidentally was starting the following week - it was perfect timing! I have joined in on everything since. Working with them gives me some kind of direction rather than aimlessly painting."
Which projects have you been involved with?
"I have been involved in Fresh Arts and Creative Perspectives which kind of followed on from that. I've also done some work with Nat on the banners for World Mental Health Day & the picture of fairies on the sunflowers."
What have you enjoyed the most about working with Creativity Works?
"For me, I did a talk at the Holburne Museum last week, and I didn't really have anything planned for it, but it sort of came into my head. It's being in the environment with a lot of inspiration - you genuinely feel that you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do, within reason. I've never really thought of myself as an artist before. Any time I've been in an environment where I've been able to draw something there have always been specific restrictions, specifications, like the teacher in the classroom. That's one thing I commend everyone on, is that there has never been any restrictions. Its nice to be in an environment where I've never felt judged, I've always felt equal. I've felt the environment is absolutely brilliant. It's definitely helped me to progress to where I am now, especially on a social acceptance level. Since I've been in contact with creativity works - the 6 months, my social tests, the rating has gone from -40 down to -17, with zero being so called "normal". That's all down to you guys allowing me to expose myself to things slowly. Last week I stood up in front of loads of people and did a talk - there's absolutely no way I would have been able to do that 6 months ago."
What have you found surprising about Creativity Works? 
"I'd probably say, I've found all of it quite surprising - even that the place existed to be perfectly honest. I'd always assumed that places like this are for people like elderly people. I'd have said that I am not the sort of person who would have gone to an art group. It was surprising to find people of roughly my own age, with roughly the same abilities as me. I was surprised at the way it all worked. I genuinely felt that I wasn't worthy of going into a museum and doing artwork. They were opportunities that I would not have expected to be given. It is a big thing. I don't know whether I looked at it as a challenge to myself - someone is giving me these opportunities, I can't not take them. They are the sort of places I wouldn't of even thought of going."
In what way has Creativity Works been of value or support to you?
"From a support point of view Philippa and Nat have been absolutely brilliant - there has never been any pressure. They are always there to bend ears so to speak. It's made me go from quite inside myself to actually accept social situations a lot more.
It actually got to the point where I really wanted to go - I built my weekly routine around these things."
What has been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?
"I was ranked in the top 10 UK DJ DMC Chamionships in 2006. And the exposure of my pictures at the Holburne would rank alongside that. These are both standing up and showing my creativity."
Do you have any creative aspirations for the future (with or without Creativity Works)?
"Eventually I'd like to be able to be self-sufficient by selling my art so I can support myself. I've always been like this and liked to be independent, and this way if I'm having a bad day, I can still sit down and paint."  

B&NES World Mental Health Day 2015
This year the Bath celebrations were held on the 10th October

This event is run every year with the idea of breaking down stigma that is associated with mental health. It is a partner venture with a wide a range of volunteers supporting the design and planning of an event alongside organisations in health and social care. This year there were fabulous contributions across B&NES from many and the activities included a roving community bus, and 2 venues with music, theatre, urban art, human library, wellbeing cakes, Mind apples and "Sofa So Good?" art installation to name a few.

Inspired by the event one of our artists, Steve Hedley, created the World Mental Health Day Image - A helping hand.
        A Helping Hand - Steve Hedley    

Old Bond Street, in the centre of Bath, was the place where artist Fiona Winning brought "sofa so good?", an installation for conversation for World Mental Health Day 2015. 

A three seater sofa, a standard lamp a rug and a small coffee table, furniture you'd find in any living room, but on this occasion they were placed outside in a busy street in the centre of Bath as part of the World Mental Health Day, an event put on in Bath to raise awareness of mental health. 

'Sofa so good?' is an idea devised by artist Fiona Winning to engage people in conversation, and working with Creativity Works, and volunteers presenting The Human Library, the public were invited to sit on the sofa and share their thoughts about mental health, and as a way of passing on a positive and affirming thought, were invited make paper butterflies, write affirming messages onto the wings of paper butterflies  and then to pass on to other people. 

"The day was dry, but windy. People moved through the gazebo area, pausing, at the cakes on one side, peering curiously at the butterflies on the other side. Human books meandered from side to side, identified by their red coloured miniature book covers, pinned to their chests."  


Indoor event at the Friends Meeting House
At the Friends Meeting House venue there were stalls from all sectors involved with mental health from talking therapies to our project Fresh Art@ which is a partnership project between Creativity Works, Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership NHS trust and Sirona. Fresh Art@ worker Nathaniel Burgess and our Creativity Works volunteer Steve Hedley ran our own stall showing how creativity supports community engagement. Many people took part in the activities on offer including sunflower badges and urban art tagging.

Steve Hedley's "Tag Me" wall attracted much attention - including William Sandry, the Major of Bath. 
We are already starting to plan next year's event so if you would like to be a part of World Mental Health Day 2016 please contact Creativity Works. For more info visit: 

Words by Fiona Winning, Nathaniel Burgess and Philippa Forsey

UrbanArt*Names changed to protect identities. 
Urban Art Banner and Flag Making Workshops in Bath and Radstock with over 25 people

25 people came to Bath Artists Studios 1st October to create urban artwork banners and silk flags in the lead up to World Mental Health Day. During the afternoon creativity, skills and techniques were shared and within a short space of time two huge silk banners and a large urban art canvas were covered and ready to fly at the city centre event.

Calvin and Steve Hedley, local artists working with Creativity Works identified that many of the World Mental Health Day activities focus on engaging adults but there is also a large number of young people who need support during challenges in their lives. Inspired by art projects that both Calvin and Steve took part in as a young lads they linked up with a Radstock youth club to deliver an urban art project.

"It worked for me. I'd like there to be the kind of art projects that were available when I was younger." Steve Hedley

" Rather than going out defacing buildings and property creative projects can help young  people express themselves and develop their skills positively.  Creative projects can be life changing and can help steer young people into new ideas and projects." 

The evening activity has prompted ideas for further workshops with young people.   VolunteerReception
Volunteers thanked for their crucial role at Creativity Works

Volunteers play a crucial role in forming and supporting the services Creativity Works offers and develops. On Wednesday 30th September 2015 from 6-7pm, the Chairman of the Council, Councillor Ian Gilchrist, held a reception in the Chairman's Room of the Guildhall to help us thank our volunteers for all the time effort and skill they have put into supporting a wide array of projects. There were over 20 volunteers there in total, and many more who weren't able to come. We were greeted by the Chairman at The Guildhall and treated to a delicious array of snacks and drinks. It was a lovely opportunity to hear what everyone had been up to and to publicly recognize the difference they had all made in volunteering. Ian said a few words to welcome everyone before handing over to Philippa and Camilla to give a more detailed thank you. Each of the volunteers, including one of our board members (board members are volunteers too!) was presented with a little creative bundle sweetened with a slab of chocolate, to say thanks. ..
Creativity Works is deeply indebted to every one of our volunteers. Your skills and knowledge have informed our development and your time, energy and enthusiasm has extended our capacity to reach those who are most in need - thank you!
If you or someone you know would like to volunteer please get in touch with Camilla on email: or by telephone: 01761 438 852. 
Thank you Waitrose! 
A great big thank you to Waitrose and their shoppers who raised us £277 in the September charity green token scheme. Thank you!

IF Group work in Bristol
We are midway through the next stage of our work with the brilliant IF group in Bristol, who are at the heart of the Golden Key Programme.

Led by Bristol charity, Second Step, the Golden key is an innovative and dynamic citywide partnership of people with experience of prison, homelessness, long-term mental health problems and drug and alcohol dependency, service providers, commissioners and city leaders. With an eight-year programme funded to the tune of £10 million by the Big Lottery Fund, they have a unique opportunity to change the way services respond to people with complex and multiple needs - a chance to change the system and unlock services people so desperately need.

Our artists from Davis & Jones (Eleanor Wynne Davis and Deborah Aguirre Jones) are working with the group to make an animation which illustrates the IF Group's future priorities and plans and we are very excited about the project.  
Update on our work with elders

Home Service elders work taking a break
Our elders work with Home Service is taking a break due to the sad news about Arts for Health Cornwall and Scilly. They were managing the Home Service project but they have sadly had to close due to the difficult economic climate. It has been an absolute pleasure working with Jayne and her team and we wish them all the best for the future. They will be sadly and dearly missed in the arts and health world.
The project will re-commence in March 2016. In the meantime we continue to work with Partis College ladies and we have plans to launch and learn from a learning and development programme aimed at care home workers to develop their practical skills in a range of creative activity.   
Elders work at Cleeve Court to continue thanks to The Medlock Charitable Trust
A big huge thank you to The Medlock Charitable Trust,  who have kindly funded us £2000 to continue our elders work with people living with dementia in Cleeve Court, Twerton alongside Sirona care home staff. Our artists and volunteers have been working with poetry and the spoken word and they are having some tremendous results. 

St John's launch community hub "The Bubble" in central Bath
We attended the St Johns opening of their new community hub on Monday 26 th
 Oct. Our artists provided pottery taster sessions and collected stories and treasures from people attending the day. It was a great day to meet other organisations doing valuable local work in the community. A big thank you to our wonderful artists, Kerry Russell, Fiona Winning and Ali Brown. Here is a picture of the wonderful radio installation we have now for the Home Service project to tour and keep on collecting and hearing and transmitting stories, memories and life tales.

  Images from the launch of St John's Community hub "The Bubble" TrusteeCallOut
Could you be a Trustee for Creativity Works?
Trustees Required

We are always looking to widen our Board of Trustees for Creativity Works and would welcome any expressions of interest. We are particularly looking for those with skills in the following areas:  

- Human Resources;
- Legal Services;
- Fundraising;
- Accounting;
- or the Visual Arts. 


You will be helping to lead a hard working, creative and dedicated team of staff, steering the way in the effective growth and promotion of this expanding organisation.

Trustees meet at least 6 times a year and we encourage engagement in particular areas of work and ongoing projects.


Further detail about our work is available on our website


For more information please contact our Chairman, Karl Bevis ( If you would like to apply for a position as a Trustee, please send Karl your CV and written application. Consideration of applications will be ongoing.

Please feel free to spread the word - you can download the advert here.OtherNews
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With Best Wishes,

The Creativity Works Team

For more information:
Tel: 01761 438852


Supported by Bath & North East Somerset Council and Arts Council England


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