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Art and nature

As you know by now, over the last 12 months I have been experimenting with a lot of different ways to encourage people to connect with nature. I've mentioned our 19 Ways booklet enough times at this stage, but unsurprisingly art got several entries. From suggesting simple mindfulness colouring sheets, to taking a look at the Nature in Art Gallery and Museum's online collection. I see they are now offering online talks which look really interesting, if fine art is your thing. If you're more interested in environmental art, then we shared an article about 6 artists who celebrate nature and promote positive change. Andy Goldsworthy remains my favourite in this field, with his artwork it would be great in any field! As part of our ongoing winter (almost Spring) project, we had hoped to be able to organise an online viewing of the latest film about him, but sadly we're running out of time. Maybe Winter Project Mark 2. You can however watch a trailer here. Last summer I even undertook some potato printing, in the name of research, however that paled into insignificance in the face of the session we organised this week.

Bazooka Arts provide therapeutic art projects for children and adults which aim to improve health and wellbeing - building confidence, resilience and positive mental health. Under COVID-19 they have developed a remote programme of delivery so that all participants can continue to engage safely from home. Throughout the pandemic they have increasingly encouraged their participants to connect with nature, through a rainbow photography challenge, and giving them ways to bring nature indoors. Their most recent sessions have taken the theme of new growth, new beginnings and light. Before Christmas they worked with their participants making prints and Christmas cards with ferns (see the picture above), and as part of our winter project, they made some videos for us, and offered a zoom training session to some of our green health groups, to give us the skills to share the activity with the people we work with. The amazing thing is that, you don't even need any paint or art equipment to have a go - the "paint" is made from instant coffee! And now it's your opportunity to have a go. There are 3 videos on our YouTube channel - the first is a quick introduction to the technique and to what you need to look for when you go outside, then there is the paint-free option and a final video for those who have access to watercolours. We'd love to see your artwork, so please do share it with us on twitter or facebook, using #bazookanature

I'm off to gather some ferns and have a go....

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