As part of our commission we ran another safe space workshop, this time with GoldsQUAD, a group for people aged 50+ that visit QUAD in Derby. We weren’t quite sure what to expect at this workshop as each group seems to be different.
We settled in nicely with cups of tea and a good chat with those ladies that turned up a little early. The group knew each other well already so there was plenty of gossip to be had. As we introduced our project it was lovely to chat through about the soothing qualities of landscapes and many of the participants had places in mind that they visit to quell their anxieties.
It’s interesting that even within these workshops people predominantly turn to landscapes to be soothed. It seems universal that the sound of water, or the sight of an extraordinary sunset, or the act of walking are the things that humans can engage with to self-soothe.
There were a few participants who felt at the beginning that they weren’t ‘creative’ enough to engage in the activity. I always like to remind people that arts workshops are not about producing stunning pieces of art. They are about experimenting, the process, the freedom. And once people forget about the pressure to be great or to produce a masterpiece they let go and begin to engage in a way that they had never expected of themselves.