WHO ARE WE?
Erminia Colucci is a Clinical and Community Psychologist, an Associate Professor in Visual and Cultural Psychology at Middlesex University London, an ethnographic documentary film-maker and photographer, and a trainer/advocate in cultural and global mental health and suicide prevention. Erminia is co-chair of the WACP SIG on Arts, Mental Health and Human Rights.
Jude Smit is a Psychotherapist, Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, Mental Health Advisor and a Psychology PhD candidate (Middlesex University London) in the field of suicide prevention, with a focus on lived experiences.
Both have worked with the arts for many years and believe in the use of the arts to create visual narratives and to empower and facilitate expression and aid public understanding.
OUR MINDFUL ART & CREATIVE EXPRESSION RESPONSE TO COVID-19
We care deeply about the impact the current situation is having on humanity. More than ever we need ways to connect with ourselves, with each other and to find space and containment for our feelings. Our aim, therefore, is to provide a reflective space where you can connect with yourself and express your feelings in a creative way. Each week we will offer a theme or creative suggestion and will talk you through ways to feel centred and connected. We will be including a variety of art forms, for example drawing, painting, sculpture, poetry and rhythm/music. You do not need to have any previous experience.
Sharing your responses and seeing others’ interpretations can create a sense of togetherness in these changing times. If you choose to, you can share your creative reflections with others on our INSTAGRAM @MindfulArtsCreativeExpression. Please follow these instructions to see how to tag and correctly add images to the gallery.
These are unprecedented times that will be bringing up a whole range of feelings which you may be finding difficult to understand or connect with, or you may be overwhelmed and flooded by emotions that you are finding difficult to contain. Either way, it can be helpful to make space to anchor and ground some of these feelings, or simply to have space away from the intensity. In times of uncertainty it can be particularly helpful to establish a weekly practice where you can check in with yourself and allow the creative flow for reflections and expression. An UK report has indicated several positive effects that engagement in artistic and creative activity can have on mental health and wellbeing.
Mindful Arts and Creative Expression is not intended as therapy and, therefore, can be complementary to any therapeutic work you may be doing. If you have any experiences of trauma please go gently as, although the suggestions are trauma-informed and hopefully accessible for all, they are not part of therapy. If you need further or immediate support, please follow this link for some support numbers and services that you can access globally. Also, if you are keen to accompanying these mindful activities with a mindfulness practice you can find some useful resources here and some guided meditations here.
THE MINDFUL ARTS & CREATIVE EXPRESSION PROJECT IS FREE AND OPEN TO ALL!
We have really valued facilitating a space each week to pause for reflection and creative expression. Much has changed over the last few months and as lockdown has eased and we are moving into summer, we felt it was time to stop for now. Even though we won’t be providing weekly prompts for a while, if you would like to continue to share your own inspirations with us via Instagram, we would love to see them. Thank you so much for all the amazing feedback we have received and for all the creative reflections you have shared with us, both on Instagram and elsewhere. It has been such a pleasure and an honour to be with you during this time.
We want you to know that, wherever you are and whatever you are doing, you matter and we are holding you in mind. Keep safe and well!
Jude & Erminia
Disclaimer: We cannot take responsibility for any comments or artwork that is shared, but ask that you act with integrity, compassion and care for others and yourself. We do not want to censor your responses, but please be mindful of the content you are sharing and how it might impact others. Please note that, although we value all contributions equally, from time to time we hope to share some of your contributions as examples or ways to link themes so please only share images you have created yourself that are not copyrighted.