Art and Nature for wellbeing

Ashstead Art Society
Jo Sharpe with Joyce Hampton from the Ashtead Art Society, at Leatherhead Theatre
Botanical drawings produced by Yr 6 children at West Ashtead Primary School
A selection of botanical drawing produced by the children at the workshops

Working as an Artist in the Surrey Community

I was approached by Ashtead Art Society to work with three primary schools in my capacity as a community artist. Their Young Arts Project aimed to stimulate Year 6 children with creativity and wellbeing. In three days at the end of summer term 2022 I worked with more than 200 children who produced over 400 works of art. As I am a strong believer in art and nature for wellbeing, I picked nature for our theme. Together, one class created a collaborative print, ‘Art and Nature Are Good For The Soul’. This became the title of the exhibition.
I chose to show children the beauty of nature, including weeds growing right under their noses, and also to remind them of the sheer joy of drawing.
Firstly, I took the children outside the classroom for a short walk where they picked three to five natural forms. Consequently, they began seeing and remarking how beautiful the colours and shapes were once they took the time to look. Secondly, I showed them how to draw and shade whilst really concentrating. Without any talking but listening to classical music the children spent around half an hour producing excellent drawings. They really appreciated the mindfulness of the activity.  

Art and nature for wellbeing Ashtead workshop

In addition to the drawing activity, where there was time, the children did a printing activity as printing is so much fun. The children cut out letters, chose a natural form to print with and, as a whole class effort, we produced three slogans: Art and Nature for Wellbeing, Art and Nature is good for the soul, and Appreciate the small things in life.

Much of the work has been beautifully curated and mounted by Ashtead Art Society and is being exhibited at Leatherhead Theatre for one month from September 15th 2022.

After exhibiting at Leatherhead Theatre it is hoped some or all of the artworks will go into hospitals/GP surgeries and schools to spread the message further.

This really was a delightful project and I felt so fortunate to have had the opportunity to spread my philosophy on wellbeing to my local community. To read more about my community Arts projects, please look at my other blogs in News.

# Art and Nature are good for you

To see more of my Artist in the Community Projects