Increasing wellbeing through art, creativity

Offering pointers to artists at last week’s Creative Wellbeing Session at the Balclutha Creative...
Offering pointers to artists at last week’s Creative Wellbeing Session at the Balclutha Creative Arts Centre are art workers Janene Dickey and Silas Waring. PHOTO: NICK BROOK
The therapeutic power of art and craft is being shared at Balclutha’s Creative Arts Centre.

Everyone is welcome to Artsenta’s Creative Wellbeing Sessions at the centre at 142 Clyde St, on the second and last Tuesdays of every month, to socialise and experience the calm and satisfaction of expressing their creativity.

Last Tuesday, former concrete placer Kim McNally experimented with coloured pencils on black paper.

"I prefer graphites and paint but I’m trying something different and that’s what the sessions are all about," he said.

"I started coming last August when I saw it advertised in the Clutha Leader ... It gets you out of the house to socialise and get a few more new ideas and help others with theirs. It’s give and take."

Silas Waring was down from Artsenta Dunedin to help fellow local art worker Janene Dickey.

"The therapeutic value is in getting people out participating and socialising with others and the healing power of creativity itself is it takes you out of yourself, away from other habitual thinking patterns to focus on something new, different and artistic, and achieve a sense of satisfaction from what you create," he said.

The Creative Wellbeing group welcomes people at "all levels of progression" to have a go with provided materials. Much of their work is exhibited for potential sale every month at Balclutha Public Library.

"People have a tendency to think they can’t ‘do art’, but when they get into it and discover there’s no rights or wrongs, find out what materials they like, what they can do with them and see their skills develop they find it a very positive experience," Mrs Dickey said.

Creative Wellbeing attendees are often referred by their doctors or counsellors but the art workers said everyone was welcome to have a go.