Young and old explore ‘what matters’ in new exhibition to promote health and wellbeing at Warrington Museum
Children and older people have come together in a unique project which illustrates how creativity can aid health, happiness and wellbeing.
What Matters?, a new exhibition at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery, is a thought-provoking collection of artwork created by children from BloomingArt’s after school classes and members of the Art in Life group for over 55s, many of whom have experienced feeling isolated through various reasons.
The paintings are heartfelt depictions of what matters most to those who created them and cover a variety of themes including family and our environment.
Gail Stubbings, founder of BloomingArt which is mainly based at The Warrington Club in Bold Street, explained how important the classes are to those who take part.
“Some of the Art in Life members have been quite isolated; one hadn’t left their home in years before they joined and others have suffered from issues like anxiety or agoraphobia.
“The Art in Life group is like a family, they get so much from the classes; it’s provided them with interchangeable skills and a new beginning.
“At the very least it’s somewhere to chat and make new friends, and that goes for the children in the after school classes too; they get the opportunity to explore and develop their creativity and express themselves through art.”
Members of the two groups, who ranged in age from six to 90, came together for a special launch event on Friday and were delighted to see their work on display at Warrington Museum & Art Gallery.
Gail added: “There were a lot of proud faces and even some happy tears; it means a lot to them all that people will get to see their work on display at a proper art gallery.
“Creating What Matters? has been a lovely experience, a really worthwhile project.
“The children learnt from the Art in Life members and the older people got a lot from the energy and enthusiasm of the children.”
Art in Life, which meets weekly at Orford Community Hub, was initially funded by Cheshire Community Foundation and this year has been supported by Warrington Borough Council; Gail thanked Dan Wheatley from Mid Orford Residents’ Association for having the vision which led to her delivering the project.
Derek Dick, outreach and engagement manager at Culture Warrington, added: “The work on display in this exhibition is proof that encouraging residents to engage in art can improve health and wellbeing in the community.
“By exploring their inner artist and using the canvas as a tool for expression, interesting and personal art has been produced by those who took part.
“It’s important that venues like Warrington Museum & Art Gallery showcase work by local residents as well as professional artists; I hope What Matters? is an inspiration to all those who see it.”