“Heart-Work” an Arts and Wellbeing Project for Young People
This series of 'Arts on Prescription' style workshops with students at Cambourne Village College was part of the 'Young People's Pilot', coordinated and managed Arts and Minds, a leading arts and mental health charity in Cambridgeshire. The sessions were led by Sheila Ceccarelli from AccessArt (artist) and Yael Pilowsky Bankirer (Psychotherapist).
"In Cambridgeshire mental health service provision for Young People involves lengthy wait times and the thresholds necessary to trigger statutory care continue to rise. Arts and Minds wanted to see what could be done as an ‘early help’ provision for young people within schools." Gavin Clayton, Arts and Minds
"For me, this workshop series was a wonderful opportunity to take creative processes into a school without curriculum pressures or worries about evaluation. Art, here, was recognised, not as a subject, but as a bespoke and personal language used to transform, express and construct. It was wonderful to see young people respond so spontaneously, openly and naturally to the processes presented to them and most importantly for them to value them and appreciate them as their own. This project was as much about ownership and creative entitlement as it was about wellbeing." Sheila Ceccarelli, AccessArt
"I loved the experience and finding so many different ways that we can use art to express our feelings." Student, Cambourne Village College
"I have really enjoyed myself." Student, Cambourne Village College
"No comments. It was good." Student, Cambourne Village College
"You could have more sessions!" Student, Cambourne Village College
"Looking back and writing it all down I can only admire the openness and honesty students have brought into the process of art making and wish we all could have this kind of freedom to express ourselves. Thank you!" Yael Pilowsky Bankirer, Psychotherapist
"Thank you all so much, for all your dedication and heartfelt passion about your work. The students all thoroughly enjoyed themselves, which was lovely to see." Daisy Worzencraft, Inclusion manager, Cambourne Village College, Cambridgeshire
With permission and collaboration from students and staff at Cambourne Village College and supported by Gavin Clayton and Jessa Leff at Arts and Minds, Sheila Ceccarelli carefully captured the sessions on camera and Yael Pilowsky Bankirer wrote her reflections, from a psychoanalytic preservative, resulting in the creation of the resources below.
We hope these capture the magic that can happen when Art is presented to young people as a tool to transform, interpret and create, and will inspire collaborations between artists, schools and mental health practitioners in this much needed area of work.
Arts and Minds: Time to Introduce Ourselves – A Sculpture Challenge
We kicked off the programme with a quick making challenge which would act as an ice-breaker and introduce students to an array of materials, from which they could construct their initial.
They were encouraged to try and find the right material to express their personality or mood today.
Arts and Minds: A ‘Heart-Work’ Conversation
Teenagers were introduced to graphite, charcoal, masking tape and acrylic paint as mediums for communal expressive mark making. A collective drawing was produced, whereby students were encouraged to work in collaboration and in response to each other.
Arts and Minds: Asemic Writing and Invented Text
Students were given the opportunity to further explore expressive mark making as a tool for self-expression and a vehicle for communication.
Feeling Through Drawing
Students were led on a guided drawing experience drawing through touch.
Drawing for Mindfulness
Students were guided on drawing exercises designed to explore drawing as a tool for seeing and being in the here and now.
Arts and Minds: Expressive Monoprinting on a Big Scale
Students enjoyed monoprinting on a large scale by rolling printing ink and acrylic paint directly onto the table and experimenting with ways to take prints.
Constructing the World with Collage
Students were invited to use their previously created monoprints to construct large scale collages inspired by the landscape surrounding the college.
Building to the Limit
In this session students were given the challenge of making building blocks out of mixed media and using them to build a sculpture. They were encouraged to experiment with balancing different elements together and setting themselves the challenge of seeing how far they could build before their constructions collapsed.
Manipulating Clay with Water
In this session teenagers had an abundance of clay and the freedom to play and manipulate form with earth and water.
With Special Thanks To: