Being & Thyme
A storytelling and eco-art workshop
This summer, I'm teaming up with illustrator and eco-art therapist Lauren Youngs to host some more story-inspired art sessions at Cwmffrwd Farm.
Each session will focus on a tree, plant or creature native to Wales and begin with a storytelling. Then it's over to Lauren who will lead us in an exciting exploration of how the stories might inspire outdoor art.
It's all about resting and recharging. Pressing the pause button in a community focused and creative way.
Oh, and did we mention...there will be coffee, tea and cake!
Our workshops are suitable for all ages and all backgrounds. Transport up to the meadow can be provided for participants who require assistance. All you need is weather appropriate clothing to make sure you stay nice and warm (and there will be a selection of hot drinks available throughout.)
Lauren studied Fine Art Painting at Wimbledon College of Art. She is currently working with ex service men and women in eco-art therapies, as well as tutoring, illustrating, and creating her own work. Lauren first discovered the benefits of combining art and nature during her time in London where she worked with PinPoint - a charity dedicated to helping at-risk young people. Her time there was spent teaching horticulture, construction, and running eco art workshops. Lauren has since moved to Wales, and now works with ex service men and women delivering eco art sessions. Her work has recently been published, and Lauren continues to discover, challenge and draw inspiration from her biggest passions: people and nature.
Pridie is a professional storyteller based in South Wales. A self-confessed story obsessive, she performs and delivers workshops for all ages. Her focus is on traditional folk and fairy tale narratives, myths and legends, and her love of the Great Outdoors means that every one of her events draws deeply from the wild outside!
Stories connect us. They give us a window into the world of the past and to the preoccupations of previous generations. They enable us to explore sorrow and joy and provide models of overcoming difficult situations.
But stories are also full of laughter and allow us to have fun with language as we connect with others.
The Wild of the Words brings all of this together in a lively and accessible way. Pridie’s passion for storytelling and her love of language makes these sessions a lovely part of my week! I love the energy of her retellings and her interactions and reflections. I highly recommend!
The variety of projects we worked on were both inspiring and mindful - great for my mental health!
Creativity is important - it helps me feel good and opens up another way to understand myself, my feelings. It is as if the creative process and being absorbed allows surprising ideas, awareness, thoughts and feelings to come in.
It's no secret that spending time outside is incredibly beneficial when it comes to our mental and physical wellbeing. To reduce stress, banish anxiety and improve our mood, getting outdoors is an obvious option and with all that is happening in the world at the moment - time outside should definitely be an essential part of everyone's daily routine. Community and connection is another vital part of our mental wellbeing. It has been much harder to meet in groups these last few years so this group offers everyone the chance to meet outdoors and connect with others in the community in a safe and enjoyable way.
Just like exercise and the outdoors, art and stories have the unique power to focus our emotions and invigorate us. Aside from providing the obvious escapism, they also increase our levels of Oxycontin - the 'feel good' hormone - positively influencing and boosting our mood and behaviour. They can distract and relax us as well as provide us with something to ponder while we're out enjoying that fresh air! But these aren't their only superpowers...
Recently, the World Health Organisation published a report that enthusiastically supports the use of the arts to promote mental and physical health (you can read the full report here) , highlighting how the arts contribute to the promotion of good health and the prevention of a range of mental and physical health conditions.