MIND IN FURNESS
Arts and Minds and Handmade.
Alex Blackmore, Geoff Cox
Kate Davies, John Hall
Mind In Furness
Our artists have developed a good relationship with MIND in Furness over the years, working on creative writing, sound and theatre projects as part of Barrow Full, Furness Litfest, and for the Ashton Group (now Theatre Factory.)
With the support of MIND's Glenn Mahaffy and Richard Crossley, Alex has put together a programme of visual arts and crafting activity, aimed at skilling up members, staff and volunteers alike, and involving them in Ulverston's festival and celebration calendar.We have devised our expanded Arts and Minds project , now called Handmade, with the support of our partners, in order to provide appropriate and stimulating activities that can complement a wider programme of support if required, and with the safety and confidentiality of our participants to the fore.
The project has produced work for local street arts festival Another Fine Fest , and lanterns and shadow screens for installation as part of the annual Ulverston Candlelit Walk, which attracts huge crowds to its atmospheric promenade of home-made spookiness.
Handmade saw our partnership develop throughout 2023. Writers Geoff Cox and Kate Davies lead creative writing sessions to produce new work and equip MIND volunteers with workshop skills. John Hall liased again with Glenn Mahaffey, acted as designer and project manager and joinied staff and members on Mindfulness days into rural areas, collecting sound and music to support Mindfulness practice.
Results include our book documenting Alex's work, an edition of the arts and culture zine Flypaper given over to our work on music with Geoff and Neil Carradus, an audio montage recorded throughout the year in rural Cumbria, and a postcard edition from poet Nicola Bull. Elsewhere, our wider project has seen us work with young people in Ulverston, and with St Marys Hospice and the Living Well Group alongside Artspace Green Room artist Lex Blakeway. Lex runs Creative Therapy sessions at the Hospice, and members of 2 groups worked with John in Ulverston on work for Another Fine Fest in 2023 and on visual arts sessions in Barrow. An introductory session from our artists at the Elmhurst Care Home has signposted a further project for 2024.