Leading regional arts, health and wellbeing project, Celebrating Age Wiltshire, is launching a new visual arts programme to support isolated older people to engage with nature and reconnect with their local community.
‘Noticing Nature’ is the latest initiative from Celebrating Age Wiltshire, a multi-partnership project which is led by the Wiltshire Music Centre in Bradford on Avon, with funding from The National Lottery Community Fund, Wiltshire Council Area Boards and Wiltshire Community Foundation.
Throughout the pandemic, the project has also been delivering online concerts and performances, outdoor concerts on doorsteps and in front gardens, and a telephone project offering 1:1 Creative Conversations with local artists to support the wellbeing older people across the county.
Participants include those who are socially isolated or vulnerable due to dementia, reduced mobility, ill health or caring responsibilities, and those who are particularly impacted through the current Covid-19 circumstances.
Creative Producer of Celebrating Age Wiltshire, Rebecca Seymour said:
“Many people who have been shielding for so long are anxious about emerging back even into their local communities. Noticing Nature is a lovely, gentle project that will give isolated people the opportunity to take small steps out and meet James safely in their own garden or in their local area, using nature and creativity as the focus to make those initial steps.”
Leading the Noticing Nature project, Wiltshire-based artist James Aldridge will be providing free one-to-one workshops for participants in their garden or local area to help them to observe and record the nature on their doorstep. He said:
‘My work as an artist is all about giving people the opportunity to notice what is special to them about their local environment, and that’s why I’m excited to be working with Celebrating Age Wiltshire on the Noticing Nature project. It’s not about being an experienced artist, or travelling to wild, remote places, it’s about noticing the beauty that surrounds us. By recording and sharing what we see and experience, we can develop a sense of connection with the rest of Nature, and a feeling of belonging.’
Through this inclusive project, which is aimed at older people of all abilities, participants will be supported to create journals, collections and postal art, culminating with the opportunity to share their work in an online exhibition.
Creative Producer of Celebrating Age Wiltshire, Rebecca Seymour added:
“We want everyone to feel like their part of the Noticing Nature community by photographing their creations and sending them in to us for our online exhibition.”
Noticing Nature is open now to anybody who would like to get involved and is accepting referrals if there is someone you know who you think would benefit from the project. FREE Noticing Nature Resource Pack