Led by a team of two arts into health workers, a poet, two visual artists and a documentary photographer, the creative team decided upon "Unique People Unique Identities” as an initial title for the project. Although the plan was to make artwork for the interior environment of the hospice and a book, it was from the outset designed to be a collaborative project in which the journey (creative process) would be as significant as the destination (the book and the final artworks on the wall). Over 6 months of weekly workshops, poems were written, stories collected and artworks were created.

 

For this project I was part of a team of artits which included: Glen Buglass and Rachel Parker (Creative Development Team), David Calcutt - Poet, Ming de Nasty- Documentary photographer and Peter Tinkler - Painter, illustrator

  Cannock Chase Horizon  installed in the Compassus Centre at the St Giles Hospice

Cannock Chase Horizon installed in the Compassus Centre at the St Giles Hospice

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 A booked titled "Being Here" was published as the culmination of the project

A booked titled "Being Here" was published as the culmination of the project

Weekly creative sessions were intended to improve people's feeling of wellbeing and by using creative and artistic ways of working, to unlock memories and spark meaningful conversations with people. The creative sessions began as a series of writing and reminiscence sessions, the aim of which was to encourage those who both worked in and attended the Hospice to share their life experiences, the people and places and things that mean something to them, those moments in time past that remain part of a vivid and ever-living present; their fears, their sorrows, their joys. Poetry was the creative medium chosen to embrace and capture these sessions since it has a way of focussing attention on the small details of memory and experience and of bringing them up close, into the here and now, making them new and clear and fresh. The visual artists were able to enrich this creative experience with aesthetic interpretations that both reflected and informed further creative dialogue.

 
 

Both sorrows and joys were shared and discussed during the sessions and there were moments of laughter as well as moments of reflective sadness and contemplation, but the overall ambience was a positive and jubilant one. Reflecting upon the creative sessions, one patient said Whilst we were working together in the sessions, I forgot I had cancer.” This simple sentence, spoken from the heart, gave the whole project a profound sense of meaning for all involved. It was a testament to the importance of psychological wellbeing, in the face of biological challenges.

 

                                      More photos/images from the project...