In September 2013, Arts Alive Wales began a cross generational arts project aimed at people based in sheltered accommodation in Abergavenny. ‘Sheltered’ was one element of an ongoing Arts and Health programme, set up by Arts Alive Wales to support positive emotional and mental health within Mid and South-East Wales.
The Sheltered project lasted for ten weeks and the final sculptures are currently on display at Arts Alive Wales’ studio in Crickhowell. A short promo film for the project will also soon be available on the Arts Alive Wales YouTube channel.
Sculptor, Matt Caines, facilitated stone carving workshops with young residents of Solas-Cymru houses for homeless young people, in particular, Woodstock House, Abergavenny.
Writer, Graham Hartill, created writings based on reminiscent stories shared by residents of MHA sheltered housing accommodation.
Photographer, James Hudson, worked alongside both groups to produce photographic images of the project for exhibition.
At the project’s end, both groups came together for a celebratory event and exhibition at the Lester Gallery in Abergavenny. At the beginning of the New Year, the exhibition moved to the Arts Alive Wales Studio in Crickhowell. In Spring, the exhibition is planned to move to The Monmouthshire Housing Old Hereford Rd Housing scheme.
“My mum and brother came to the exhibition in Abergavenny- my Mum cried when I gave her the angel that I carved. I’ve been looking into University Courses where I could develop further my skills and interest in carving”
“ This project has given me better relationships with others at Woodstock House ( where I live)”
“I had never done it before. It is nice to try something new. It is interesting. I wouldn’t mind doing it ongoing. If I can get good at it I wouldn’t mind doing it as a job, definitely”
Support Workers Solas Cymru
“Usually it is hard to motivate residents to take part in activities, however with the stonecarving, they were constantly asking for when the next class would be and were really excited about the next session.”
“ I was absolutely amazed at the quality of what they had all produced and realise how much hard work and effort it must have taken…it was important for their self esteem and image…”
Older people from MHA sheltered Housing Scheme
“I was keen on finding out about the youngsters”.
“It is good for other people to understand how life used to be”