What matters to you matters to me was commissioned by Arts Derbyshire’s Cultural Prescription program and brought about partnerships between the culture, health and wellbeing sectors and the social prescribing agenda. With an aim to support Derbyshire’s Link Workers as they support people who are finding life hard. I led practical and discursive fortnighly sessions, held [remotely] over 6 months. These culminated in the co-designing of a series of works that enabled Link Workers and their clients space to create and make more informed choices.
What matters to you matters to me was informed by the Still Life tradition and the Social Prescribing strap line – what matters to you. I like how Still Lives uses small everyday items as symbols and metaphors to consider the important issues of life and death. We are all surround with such objects and keep certain ones as memory holders – as things that matter. During the pandemic these objects became more significant or their absence more keenly felt. It was this and the importance of paying attention, that both the still life tradition and the Social Prescribing role engage with, that I used to develop the work.
Initially I created and posted out editioned artworks and materials for use in our Zoom sessions. These interventions supported and initiated conversation and enabled the groups to explore and consider their creativity, lives and stress. One piece, a labelled white hankie, created a space for us to place and focus on objects important to each of us. A plastercine pack enabled us to make small models of foods important to us.
These small generative and useful offerings led to the development of significant resources and methodologies that informed both Art Derbyshire’s strategic ambitions and impact the delivery of Social Prescribing regionally and nationally. This includes: a publication titled Joyful Interruptions, [edition of 4000] featuring photographs and texts produced by workers and clients, for further distribution, which invited readers to consider moments of joy. And a Manifesto, [edition of 2000 shared regionally and nationally] which, in lieu of a recognised vision, outlined the Link Worker role, skills and needs.
I was invited to present What matters to you matters to me/Cultural Prescriptions at the 2021 CHWA conference.
Blog posts written during the project can be found HERE
Funded by Derbyshire County Council
via Arts Derbyshire