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Holding Space

What could support for workshop providers with parallel lived experience of the participants look like?

Holding Space was a bridging project between Cysylltu and Rewilding the Artist aiming to support workshop providers, most of whom had lived experience of mental health issues parallel to that of the workshop participants. The project was a Freelance Futurism Commission funded by Cultural Freelancers Wales.

It provided a safe space to express and creatively explore any difficulties that had arisen due to how workshop participants had responded, or conversations that were had whilst delivering the workshops. The space was not intended to be a structured form of therapy for the workshop providers, but a safe space for creative self-expression.

Cysylltu... Connecting... was created by composer Ellen Davies as a response to her own experiences with mental health and addiction. The aim of the project was to support a residential community in North Wales who were overcoming addiction, connecting them back to themselves and the local community so that they could feel “a part of rather than apart from”, and featured freelance professional artists from multiple disciplines. The project culminated with a live art performance and exhibition at Pontio in Bangor.

Quotes from holding space participants:

"The practices were shared with experience, equity and kindness"

"I would just like to share my gratitude for the way the Holding Space evolved through listening with care, learning and making such positive changes."

"The Holding Space can be one of sharing of the joyful and most meaningful moments and experiences of the project or workshop as well as learning prospects for further consideration or implementation."

"The creative opportunities that the Holding Space process offers are rich in possibilities for reflection, evaluation and learning."

Image Credit: (above) Kar Rowson, (below) Ellen Davies

hold space feedback image_El_edited.jpg

In partnership with Cysylltu / Community Arts Project Wales, North Wales Recovery Communities and funded by Cultural Freelancers Wales

Cysylltu Project Logo
North Wales Recovery Community Logo
Creative Freelancers Wales Logo
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