Arts Derbyshire


On Monday April 29th Aurora Wellbeing Services will present an exhibition of works by participants of their Creative Health Programme, funded by UK Government Levelling Up Fund.

The exhibition showcases pieces from both their photography and ‘Identity and Loss’ workshops. With a mixture of experimental textile designs and photography, participants learned new skills, explored new techniques, and had their own individual experiences using creative practices to reflect on areas of their wellbeing.

The first of its kind Auroras Alice in Wonderland themed ‘Identity and Loss’ workshop, facilitated by counsellor Claire Mitchell Wall and Art Therapist Beth Thompson looked at the theme of identity and loss before and after a cancer diagnosis. Participants were encouraged to process their feelings of loss in a safe space through a therapeutic creative activity, where they began to explore their identity and plan the first part of a design. Using various textiles and techniques, participants had ownership over their designs, which are decorated or deconstructed to represent different elements of the individual’s identity. The second part of the design explores what has been gained and aimed to increase understanding of their sense of self. Throughout the course many themes were explored including families, experiences, memories, beliefs and values, neighbourhoods and home, where through reflection of self, objects and places, participants made connections as well as improving their confidence and self-esteem.

The finished designs are displayed alongside interpretation and narrative from their creators, they have played a huge role in the curation of the exhibition. Counseller Claire said ‘The impact the workshop had on its participants is far beyond what Aurora could’ve expected and we are so proud of this exhibition and those behind it’ Participants shared feedback including ‘I have loved doing art again, it has helped me reconnect with it.’, ’In other groups we talk about everything except the elephant in the room’ and ‘It has taught me to think about me’.

Photography workshops led by professional photographer Lizzie Songhurst have a great impact on wellbeing. Having learnt new techniques and skills, participants show their favourite works in this upcoming exhibition.

The exhibition will take place in the Grade 2 Listed Old Library and Museum, now home to Aurora Wellbeing Bassetlaw. Aurora Bassetlaw also houses Valerie’s Tearoom, The Heritage Hub and the aurora charity shop as well as providing essential support services those affected by a cancer diagnosis including counselling, exercise programmes and holistic therapy.

The exhibition opens to the public with a special launch on the 29th April at 10.30am.

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