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More than a pretty picture?

26 May, 2019

Colostomy UK: more than a pretty picture

Our Creative Minds art initiative is part of our Active Ostomates project. We provide free art sessions to stoma support groups which are delivered by qualified artists.

Participants have the opportunity to chose from a number of activities including Water Colours, Pastels, Pottery, Decopatch, Papier Mache, & Acrylics.

Here are four reasons why we run these sessions.

Fun for Ostomates

First and foremost, our art sessions are a fun and enjoyable activity for support groups. It gives members something different to do and acts as a way of bonding outside the subject of stomas. In many cases it also attracts new members to the group.

 Reducing Stress

We all have stress in our lives and need an outlet for it and Art is certainly an effective one. Research by the BBC polled almost 50,000 people and found that 76% of participants used creative activities as a “distraction tool” to block out stress and anxiety and 53% used creative them as a “contemplation tool” to get the headspace to reflect on problems and emotions.

Building confidence

The reason that we run our Creative Minds Art Sessions through support groups is that we hope that by allowing ostomates to try these in a supportive environment and with people they are comfortable with, they will feel more comfortable to express themselves through art. Although we often refer to them as taster sessions, groups can request additional sessions with East Berkshire Ostomy for example have monthly yoga sessions. Even where a group decides they only want to try a session once, the BBC’s survey found there is still value.

“We get emotional benefits from even a single session of creativity and there are cumulative benefits from regular engagement. And when we’re facing hardships in our lives.”

A neutral subject

Last but in no way least, Art is something of a neutral subject and we hope that participating in art sessions that ostomates may able to address feelings/thoughts that they might otherwise struggle with.

“Certain strong emotions can be difficult to make sense of and articulate as a verbal response to a direct question. However, these emotions can be more easily understood and expressed by physically attaching them to a created image or object, and the creative process allows emotional themes to be explored and identified.” Souter-Anderson 2010

Exploring the experience of ostomates and how surgery has changed their lives through art is something that we are going to be expanding upon in the coming years as our project develops.

If you would like to try out one of our art sessions and see if it could benefit you, then why not get in touch with Giovanni on: giovanni.cinque@ColostomyUK.org or call 0118 939 1537


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