Health and Arts

CrAzY-ish: Madness & Creativity

Bristol is a very hippie city and at the City of Bristol College is possible to enroll into a wide selection of courses, including: Introduction to Arts, Health and Creativity (Using creative methods, drama games, art making, movement, music and experiential approaches you will have an opportunity to try out new creative techniques and consider how these may be applied in other contexts).

Of course I enrolled. Thus, last Tuesday I attended the first lesson which started with a couple of questions: What is health? How expressive methods affect myself? and continued with a few `name-games` to get to know each other.

The core of the lesson, the creative exercise, was: Drow two concentric circles, and inside the inner one your idea of health. During the exercise it was repeated many times that Arts therapies are about the process, not the product.

Here`s my drawing…


– The second step was to observe others drawings and write a word or a sentence on the background, inspired by the image. In this case: roots, strength, life, growing, connected etc.
– The third step was to write in the second circle a sentence to summarize the meaning of the drawing, with the help of the words written by the other participants. In this case: being open to the world, not threatened by it.
The third part of the lesson was about theory. There are many resources online, including the ‘Arts&Health South West‘ website (“Arts & Health South West is an information, support and advocacy organisation for everyone who believes in the value of creativity in enhancing health and wellbeing”).
Also, on the NEF (New Economics Foundation, economics as if people and the planet mattered) website, there is an interesting document about 5 daily ways to wellbeing.
A review of the most up-to-date evidence suggests that building the following five actions into our day-to-day lives is important for well-being:

5 Ways to Wellbeing: Connect, Be active, Take notice, Keep learning, Give

The question for the Art therapist is: How can we use creativity to be connected, active, take notice etc?


My question is: why he hell everybody seem to be thinking that between Art and Health, health is  the important one?



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