Fresh Art @ B&NES is an innovative project which harnesses the power of creativity to make a real difference to the lives of people who have been experiencing mental health challenges and social isolation. The project is a partnership between Avon and Wiltshire Mental Health Partnership (AWP) NHS Trust, Creativity Works, Bath Museums Partnership and Virgin Care.
Fresh Art@ gives participants a unique opportunity to explore their creativity, improve wellbeing and increase independence and cultural connections through exploring their own creative practice. The Fresh Art@ participants meet for 2 hours each week in museums around Bath during the 12-week course to create artwork inspired by the museum collections. They have access to a wealth of knowledge and enthusiasm from experienced museum staff, as well as guidance and support from a socially engaged artist and other passionate members of the Fresh Art@ team. The project helps to break down barriers by providing manageable stepping-stones that enables individuals to engage in creative community based activities, empowering participants in their wider decision making.
Being able to come together as a group in a safe, supportive and inspirational environment enables participants to express themselves, develop meaningful relationships with one another and explore creative processes. At the end of the project, the Fresh Art@ participants donate carefully selected pieces to be framed and exhibited in a public exhibition, which is displayed as part of the Bath Fringe Festival. The artwork then takes it's proud place as part of the Fresh Art@ collection, which is rotated around and displayed in the otherwise clinical NHS environments, enlivening the space and allowing participants to give something back.
Fresh Art@ believes that creativity can make a significant difference to people's lives by inspiring and supporting them to have fun & be creative, learn new transferrable skills, improve health and wellbeing and connect with their surroundings.
Watch a short video about Fresh Art (Created in 2017 with funding from The Big Lottery (2017) - https://vimeo.com/258936299
"Creating the artwork, donating it and having it displayed in AWP buildings, as a service user is awesome! It's giving back, it improves the environment for others and there is a sense of real value. The Fresh Art project is a very powerful concept and I hope that many more individuals have the same opportunity to engage and develop as I have through my participation." - Quote from participant
There will be a public exhibition showing work from the Fresh Art project at The Roper Gallery, Bath Artists' Studios from 24th – 31st May 2019