Meet the Artlift Team
Artlift provides a safe space where our experienced Artists use creativity to help improve the mental wellbeing of the groups they lead.
My background is in youth work, BBC Radio feature-making, and community & further education in creative/media arts. My creative work focuses on participants’ personal interests and life experiences using poetry writing & spoken word, found objects, and visual & collage work to develop sessions that are fun, social and supportive.
I love running Artlift sessions because they are informal, social, supportive and fun and enable participants to gain positive mental health through building creative personal space & skills, as well as confidence and social links.
My Artlift work also enables participants to form their own self-running creative groups – this means their creative selves and the supportive groups and space that have formed can continue and grow.
In my Artlift groups we focus on all aspects of drawing, stripping our techniques down to the bare bones and rebuilding confidence in the use of media from the simplest of starting points.
Some of our inspirations are process based, such as paper cutting or collage, some are media based, such as using water soluble graphite or inks. Each week we tackle a process, hooking it onto a drawing or illustrative plan, and explore a range of creative approaches.
We do this as a group, keeping it inclusive and with everybody working at the same pace, supporting each other and learning from the range of outcomes. Every participant brings their own style and warm personality to the group, which makes our art sessions diverse and extremely fun.
I am a Bristol based artist, theatre maker and arts facilitator with many years experience working with people to create original work in response to a commission, environment or community. I trained in Spatial Design and Theatre Design and love using these skills to create theatrical environments and events that surprise, delight and emotionally move people, bringing a touch of magic to our everyday lives.
My work in Arts for Wellbeing is central to my creativity. Through a variety of simple art techniques and accessible materials I hope to enable people to gently explore and develop their own creativity in new and unexpected ways, building self confidence and self belief and opening up the limitless possibilities art making holds.
I have been working for Artlift for just over two years, in Tewkesbury and now Abbeydale. I use a range of media and techniques including silk painting, rag rugging, needle felting, printing, drawing and sculpture in my classes.
I like to work in a reflective and supportive way and encourage participants to enjoy the creative process with a playful approach, exploring what the materials can do. Each participant works in different ways and many find they are surprised by their achievements and often grow in confidence whilst learning new skills.
I’m a Printmaker. Printmaking is a very different and exciting art form that lends itself to a playful and experimental approach to making prints on paper.
I’ve been delivering sessions for Artlift for 10 years, and as much as the sessions are a highlight in the week for my participants, they are mine too! It’s a joy to share my skills and knowledge and then see people come alive with enthusiasm as they engage their imagination in the creative process.
To see their confidence grow and friendships develop in the group and to hear how that transfers over into their day to day living is wonderful… that weekly ‘time out‘ to rest and play has great significance to many and forms an important part of their recovery, healing and overflowing well being.
My own professional practice focuses on the natural world, where I’m currently inspired by how we perceive beauty. Studying aerial photography of the land and images of microscopic cell structures leads me to investigate the visual language of form, colour, texture and pattern… my favourite printmaking process is monoprint and collagraph, but I love drawing and painting too, especially working with a mixed media approach.
Having suffered with an Eating disorder for many years, I discovered just how valuable the Arts were to my well being and recovery.
Our Administrative Staff
Cath Wilkins, Executive Director
Amabel Mortimer, Programme Coordinator
Sue Burling, Finance Administrator
Dr Gillian Rice (Chair)
Dr Katja Baczko