Future Fires 2014
Home is where the 'ART is, is a creative outreach project that aims to reach vulnerable members of the community who are experiencing mental health illness. These individuals often find it extremely difficult to leave their homes and feel isolated or excluded. The project will work with participants to improve confidence and maintain personal well-being through creative art practice. This will be achieved through a series of visual art workshops in peoples homes. Participants will be empowered to take the lead on their projects and will be supported through this process by the artists. The project will exist to support people to find or rediscover their artistic potential and provide them with a platform for creative expression.
A strong emphasis of the project is to promote self help and social inclusion as well as tackling stigma associated with mental health. The ultimate aim of the project is to give individuals the confidence to improve their own quality of life through community and cultural engagement.
Jessica’s experience at both Venture Arts and Start in Salford as a workshop assistant has been at the root of this project idea. Providing art workshops for adults and children with learning disabilities as well as individuals with mental health illness has allowed her to see, first hand, the positive impact that art has on people’s lives. This has led her to question people’s access to community arts centres within Manchester and she concluded that, for whatever reason, many people are confined to their homes. So she thought, 'what if I could take the workshops to them?'
As a Fine Art graduate specialising in printmaking, Jessica wants to offer her skills to members of the community to empower them through creative expression. She hopes this engagement will be the foundation for people with mental health illness, to find new ways of dealing with their issues, and in turn allow them to realise their potential and give them the confidence to venture out of the confines of those four walls.
Jessica has received funding from O2 Think Big, the Duchy of Lancaster Benevolent Fund and the Wakeham Trust.
Contact’s Future Fires programme, funded by the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Esmee Fairbairn Foundation, supports young emerging artists to plan and deliver their own community arts outreach projects in Greater Manchester through a tailored programme of training, mentoring and support.