Bristol’s Light Box Happiness Project to re-launch in October!

Bristol’s Light Box Happiness Project is delighted to announce it’s received three years continuation funding  from the  Big Lottery and will re-launch this October.

The Happiness Project engages the general public and vulnerable communities with Arts workshops that advocate applied positive psychology for the promotion of good mental health and well-being.

This Arts and Health intervention is preventative and therapeutic, bringing together mental health sufferers with the wider population in a creative exploration of what it takes to be happy.

Using the art-work they create as take-home visual cues helps participants to instigate and maintain health promoting behaviour. Underpinning health investment messages with creative activity has been a critical element of this project’s success.


Your image at the top of this page

Would you like visitors to the blog to see an image from your project at the top of this page? If so, send one to Karen Gray.

It’s great to see the colour, range and diversity of arts and health work in Bristol displayed on the blog. We can’t guarantee to use every one, but we’ll try! Images need to be landscape, and remember – you must have permission to publish them, particular if they show people.

Exploring ideas of home and play in a dementia care environment

What does home mean when you have dementia? If you are a migrant from another country, culture, region, or city, does your sense of ‘home’ reside in childhood memories over and above those from where you live now? Can a care home ever feel like home? How might we introduce ideas of play and playfulness into the care home environment? These are some of the questions being tackled by two internationally-renowned artists recently appointed to work on a public art programme for local care home provider, Brunelcare.

The programme is being managed by Willis Newson and we are really excited to be working with Deirdre Nelson and Eamon O’Kane to create artworks for Saffron Gardens, a new dementia care home due to open in Whitehall, Bristol, at the end of 2012.

Deidre and Eamon had a fantastic first session in the existing care home, Saffron House, this month.  They will be spending time there over the summer to get to know residents and staff and find out how best to respond to their respective briefs.

Contemporary embroiderer Deidre Nelson is tasked with researching the idea of home in how it relates to people with dementia, and to translate this into a piece of art for the care home. She plans to spend her first few days there just knitting, observing and talking to people to see what happens.

Eamon O’Kane will be exploring how people with dementia might be encouraged to play and interact with the environment of the care home. Much of his gallery-based work has also explored ideas around play and interactivity.  Here he is tasked with applying these theoretical explorations to practical use in a care home.

We’ll post more these projects here when they are complete, or you can sign up for the Willis Newson newsletter to hear more of our news.

Hone your arts and health skills at UWE

Willis Newson and the University of the West of England have joined forces to offer some exciting day courses and two fully academically accredited modules – all on the subject of arts and health. Where do you need to hone your skills? Find out more.

The following day courses are booking now and will be relevant to arts practitioners, health practitioners and others working in the arts and health/wellbeing field. Students wishing to take the full module will attend all five of the day courses and one other session.

Participatory Arts in Health and Social Care
3rd October 2012: The context for arts and health: Research, policy and practice
17th October 2012: Leading effective arts projects in health and social care
31st October 2012: Safe and ethical practice for arts and health
14th November 2012: Introduction to research and evaluation in arts and health
28th November 2012: Marketing and presentation skills: Bringing your arts and health project to life

The second set of workshops begins in January 2013 and focuses on the skills you need to evaluate arts in health initiatives.

For full details on all courses, including how to register and costs, visit the Willis Newson website or contact Miranda Borman by email or telephone 0117 924 7617.

Bristol win at AHSW Awards

It was fantastic to see so many Bristol projects and people represented in the first ever AHSW Awards at the end of June. The quality and diversity of arts and health practice has come a long way in the past 5-10 years, and this was brought vividly to life at the awards ceremony at M-Shed when all of the shortlisted projects made brief presentations.

Bristol was well represented – Artshine was nominated for the Health Award, alongside North Bristol NHS Trust’s “In Whom We Trust”. And three Bristol projects were shortlisted for the Arts Award: Light Box Happiness Project, Misfits Theatre Company, and Myrtle Theatre’s ‘A Letter to That’s Life!’.

Bristol’s own Louisa Newman, arts on referral manager for NHS Bristol’s Artshine programme, won the AHSW award for individual achievement.  Her notable achievements include raising the profile of arts in health among Bristol’s GPs and primary care professionals; developing a service that compliments and fits with general practice; and implementing a code of practice that ensures artists working with Artshine deliver a quality service and receive training and supervision to support their work.

All in all, it made me proud to be a Bristolian!

More information about the other winners (Berkeley Vale Health Community Arts Project and Double Elephant Print Workshop), all the short-listed projects, and the awards themselves is available on the AHSW website.