Thanks to a collaboration between service users, carers, staff and Art Therapists, artwork which adorns the walls of AWP Trust units is to be given a wider audience as part of a national artwork catalogue created by the Public Catalogue Foundation.
The Public Catalogue Foundation is a registered charity based in Covent Garden, London, which was set up to photograph and record all oil, acrylic and tempera paintings in publicly owned collections in the UK. This includes works in museums (both on display and in store) as well as paintings in council buildings, universities, hospitals, police stations and fire stations. It is estimated that there are some 200,000 such paintings in the UK. However, at any one time some 80% of these are hidden from public view, being either in storerooms or public buildings in official use.
The aim of the Foundation is to make such works more available to the public through a series of easily affordable catalogues that cover art county by county.
AWP’s collection of art has been created by service users at a number of sites across the region, including the Victoria Centre and Forget-me-not Centre in Swindon.
Art Psychotherapist Siobhan McElroy, who has worked with many of the service users, is delighted that a selection of AWP artworks has been chosen for this project. “We believe that there are not only therapeutic benefits in expressing ourselves through art but it also creates a much better environment for service users, carers and staff to be a part of.
“For many of the people I work with, art allows them to express themselves and communicate with those around them. Some of the art is exceptional so, while it has not been created for the purpose of getting wider recognition, we are delighted that a larger audience will now have the chance to experience just a small sample of the talent and sense of beauty that our service users possess.”
The Trust often encourages the use of the phrase ‘Don’t Ignore Your Mental Health’ so taking time out for yourself to indulge in a hobby such as art can be just one way of taking a step back from the stress and pressures we all face in our lives.