Artists

Artlift benefits from a team of Artist Facilitators who bring diverse skills, backgrounds and lived experience to their roles.

Our team of specially trained and supported Creative Health professionals can offer choice and variety to Artlift’s participants. They focus on the process and being together, not on technique or the ‘end product’, and draw on multiple artforms and genres – from drawing, painting, arts and crafts, printmaking, design, photography and film to creative writing, singing, percussion, drama, and dance.

Artist Facilitators work to establish a safe, welcoming space for our participants and offer individual ‘Creative Check-in’ conversations, enabling each participant to personalise their experience with us, and their Move On plan after their period of Arts on Prescription.

Amy Freeman

Amy Freeman

Artist Facilitator

I have been a practicing artist since graduating in 2003. My practice includes Art installation, Performance to video, Textiles, Street Art, Craftvism, Animation and Alternative Photographic processes amongst others.

Formally trained as a foundry Sculptor (BA), I later studied in the more conceptual realm of Social Sculpture and Connective Practice (MA).  Identifying as a neuro-divergent artist, I am interested in the link between the creative process and divergent thinking. I also have determination to break down the barriers and taboos surrounding hidden disabilities through my work and the relationships within it.

I have worked in the dual worlds of art practice and social care in a variety of settings for over 20 years. I have a passion for sharing my love of the creative process and my belief in the positive effects that making Art can have on wellbeing and our all-round happiness.

Annet Richards Binns

Annet Richards Binns

Artist Facilitator

I am a Yoga Teacher, Dance Teacher and Choreographer, Global Play Trainer, Creative Workshop Facilitator, Artist and budding Writer. I love rituals, make decorative art and write anecdotes on wellbeing & my reverence for all life.

The eldest of four sisters, I migrated from Jamaica to London in the mid-nineties and went on to create the pioneering Cool Runnings Children’s Project in Gloucester. I have extensive experience facilitating sessions and artistic projects for multiple arts organisations and schools and am a regular contributor to Carnivals and Festivals like St Paul’s Carnival in Bristol and Womad.

I encourage people to uplift themselves from within, appreciate the gifts of their lives and seek to empower & inspire all to express their creative self, be who they are and keep on igniting their joy in life.

Brenda Read-Brown

Brenda Read-Brown

Artist Facilitator

I started writing and performing poetry in 1997, and have been working as a fulltime freelance poet, writer and facilitator since 2001. I’ve been with Artlift since it started, and my sessions are among my most rewarding activities.

I lead participants through games and writing exercises, and try to make every session enjoyable – there’s lots of laughter.

I have two important aims: I want participants to have fun and to feel proud of what they have achieved. Everyone starts in a different place, and one thing I love about our groups is the support the participants give to each other; everyone realises that it’s the process that is helping them.

It’s a real joy to see people blossom through creativity – not only in their writing, but in their confidence and wellbeing.

David Davies

David Davies

Creative Navigator & Artist Facilitator

My background is in youth work, BBC Radio feature-making, community arts and further education.

 I’m passionate about changing lives through creativity. I focus on each participant’s interests and life experiences, and am trained in Health Coaching and Motivational Interviewing.

As a Creative Navigator and in my group sessions, I draw on creative tools to help people find their own way forwards. Everyone is encouraged to express themselves, whether that’s through poetry, the spoken word, found objects, or collage.

The courses I run are informal, social, supportive and fun so that everyone can grow in confidence, make new friends, nurture useful skills, and improve their health and wellbeing. Within this new-found creative space, the group becomes a real lifeline. Many set up Move On groups that run on for years to come. It’s wonderful to see everyone continue to support and inspire each other because they know the huge difference that creativity has made in their lives.

Emma Cleasby

Emma Cleasby

Artist Facilitator

I began my career backstage: designing, painting, costume making. Then I did a sideways jump onstage and worked for a long time as an actor in theatre, TV and film.

Since moving to Gloucestershire, I’ve been a director, writer and teacher. Throughout it all, I’ve been a creative facilitator. I’ve led lots of very different groups and I’m always delighted by how much just meeting and making something, can lift the day. I especially enjoy creating and sharing stories – using anything from photography and favourite tunes to swapping recipes and recording birdsong. Every group is different and it’s my job to find out what interests you, what’s comfortable and what’s exciting.

We’ll start with a mix of making, writing, games and talking, to find out what gets us going. Above all, I want participants to enjoy their time together, feel supported and be surprised by their own creativity.

Harriet West

Harriet West

Artist Facilitator

I have many years of inclusive arts experience. I’m a qualified coach, mentor and freelance creative facilitator in visual and performing arts/film.

As a facilitative artist, my work centres around everybody’s innate right to be creative. My aim is to create opportunities for individuals and groups to explore their creativity in a safe, nurturing, incubated setting.

My own practice spans art forms and has grown via collaboration with many other artists, in response to need and as a result of a very inquisitive nature. My have a go attitude, love of learning and tenacity has led to using many art forms and methods. However my specialism is ensuring participants feel valued and an equal partner in the creative process.

A lot of my recent work has been in costume and structure making for Carnival in the summer and giant lanterns in the winter. I’ve been lucky to learn from some talented national and international carnival artists

Jim Brook

Jim Brook

Artist Facilitator

I am an artist, theatre director, film soundtrack composer, musician, recording engineer, curator and writer. I joined Artlift in 2019 and take great pleasure in enabling our participants to re-engage with the world around them through photography and film. I studied Fine Art at Chelsea School of Art, and went on to pursue a music career. I record and produce music and have created sound installations for the Arts Council of Wales and the National Trust.

My PhD resulted in the Stroud-based performance company Hand in Glove. I’m passionate about sharing my skills in schools and universities, including as an Associate Lecturer at The University of the Arts London. I’m excited about the way creativity can change lives, so this is a very natural step for me to be a part of the Artlift team.

Jon Seagrave

Artist Facilitator

I have been a professional writer, artist  and workshop facilitator for over 20 years, and I have worked on several long-term social prescribing, arts and health projects over the years.

I’m first and foremost a poet, writer, performer, and theatremaker, though I have some visual arts skills- particularly in the field of making ‘artist’s books’, collage etc. I’m also known for making my sessions very warm, encouraging and supportive, with a ‘you can’t do it wrong’ attitude that really helps participants take whatever leaps of confidence are required to start being creative in a group setting.

Most of my work is at what I call the ‘creative frontline’, encouraging people who may never have seen themselves as ‘artistic’ in any way to unleash their inner artist in a safe and well-held environment.

Julie Matthews

Julie Matthews

Artist Facilitator

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 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 participants to explore and develop their own creativity in new and unexpected ways; to nurture their self-belief; and to open up the limitless possibilities of art.

Lisa Jenkinson

Lisa Jenkinson

Artist Facilitator

I have been a musician and artist for most of my life. I began singing at the age of 12 and am now a performing and recorded artist. I have had many roles in the art world, including teaching art and craft in Maine and working alongside a renowned artist in California.

Art in its many forms has had a positive impact in my life and I am honoured to be able to share this with Artlift participants – the wonderful way in which people can heal, build confidence, and learn to see life in a creative, uplifting way. I enjoy watching people smile and laugh throughout our sessions, improving their wellbeing through creativity and nurturing their self-belief.

In my Artlift sessions we explore painting, clay work, printing, crafting, drawing, and linking sound with colour and feeling. In my music-based classes, we explore the connection between music and lyrics that uplift and heal and how the voice can be easily trained to make a beautiful sound, with gentle guidance and lots of fun!

I encourage participants to reflect on their own work and to enjoy the process and freedom to experiment in a non-judgemental environment. Everyone can learn new skills and explore their own creativity in a safe, inclusive, fun and engaging space.  I believe there is no wrong way to do art and everybody can sing!

Ronnie McGrath

Ronnie McGrath

Artist Facilitator

I am a creator of words and images – a writer and poet who also paints and exhibits my art in local galleries. As a teacher and facilitator, I value the act of spontaneity and privilege the imagination through a play with words.

Art, which incorporates writing as well, has certainly transformed my life in a positive way, and I would like it to do the same for as many people as possible – it is a great healer. In my sessions you will cut, paste, write, paint, make marks, interpret, experiment, but most of all have fun in a safe space whilst building a meaningful community.

For many years I have facilitated art and creative writing workshops in schools, colleges, universities, prisons, hospitals, and charities. There is nothing I like more than to see people expressing themselves and pushing the boundaries of their creativity.

Rose Illingworth

Rose Illingworth

Artist Facilitator

I have been working as a community artist since leaving school and I have been lucky enough to work on some incredible projects including working with local children and the traveller community in The West Bank. I have also worked on a number of international projects in Central America, South Africa, Swaziland, The Gambia, Egypt and Colombia.

I have experience of working with many different mediums including oil and acrylic paint, graphite, charcoal, pastel, spracy paint and watercolours. As well as working as a community artist, I also support young adults with a diverse range of high levels of learning disabilities and difficulties.

The experiences that I have gained as an artist and throughout life have helped shaped the way that I help people with creative activities. I believe that art and creativity can be used as a means of relief and positive expression and I enjoy helping both groups and individuals overcome barriers in their life.

Susie Walker

Susie Walker

Artist Facilitator

I work hard to get a supportive space where everyone can tap into their creativity and learn new techniques, from silk painting to rag rugging, needle felting, printing, drawing and sculpture.

I encourage participants to reflect and enjoy the creative process through play. Simple creative tasks build confidence and skills as we share and explore ideas together.

People are often amazed by their achievements. After gently holding people, it is so exciting to hear that they are drawing, painting, or making every day. Some are even selling work, off to art college, or running classes. I’m really inspired by the change that creativity brings.