Our Art Bags
The Art Bag Project, now in its second year, is a collaborative initiative from Macmillan Cancer Support, Peace Hospice Care and The Hospice of St Francis designed to promote the sense of wellbeing that is generated through taking part in a creative activity.
Anyone with a life-limiting illness, their carers or relatives can take part in the project.
Each Art Bag is filled with a simple creative activity providing participants with the tools needed to create, contemplate and connect. Last year’s Art Bags contained a weaving activity and many of the woven creations were exhibited at Watford Museum’s space2gallery.
This year’s Art Bags contained a bar of soap and all the materials needed for carving so participants could create anything that represented how they were feeling. The results included flowers, faces, animals, buildings and many different shapes.
A special animation film was created with the help of animator Kim Noce, featuring more than 100 soap carvings created by people affected by life-limiting illness.
Annalise Ashwell, Macmillan Wellbeing and Therapeutic Coordinator, said: “The simple act of taking some time to focus on a creative activity can help to promote wellbeing and relaxation and build resilience when coping with a serious illness. It provides a way for people to express themselves, as well as giving carvers and carers, personal artwork to cherish."
Samantha Owen, who became involved in the Art Bag project following treatment for breast cancer, said: “For me, this project has been an opportunity to get out there any try life again. Being involved in a project with people who were going through a similar situation was really reassuring and hopefully it will help other people at the beginning of their diagnosis realise that there is help out there and that it comes in many different forms.”