Arts Alive Wales has been facilitating outdoor Forest Arts programmes since 2007, initially working from a National Trust owned site at the Skirrid in Abergavenny. The programmes are targeted at adults, families and young people who would benefit from creative activities in the outdoors and for whom participation is difficult due to their circumstances.
Following a partnership project with Wye Valley AONB, on their ‘Inside Out’ project, Arts Alive Wales began working at Whitestone, a beautiful Forestry Commission (now Natural Resources Wales) owned and managed site near Llandogo in the Wye Valley.
With the support of the Forestry Commission, who invited Arts Alive Wales to continue the programme at the new location, the programme has continued into 2013, drawing in new participants with an emphasis on working with those who find accessing creative groups difficult.
Artist led, the project aims to utilise the natural forest environment and to enable people to engage with nature and explore their own personal creativity. Forest crafts act as the foundation for the creative process and create purposeful and meaningful activity to bring people together. The project staff for Autumn 2013 were level 3 qualified Forest School staff Lynette Margerison, David Rogers and Sarah Lawson (volunteer).
The Autumn project ‘Windswept’ ran for eight consecutive weeks, and included a ‘Halloween’ session during October Half term and an end of season ‘Winter Solstice Celebration’ in December. Writer Mike Church (aka ‘Human Tonic’) worked with Arts Alive Wales again, providing his unique blend of humour, insight and warmth to create shared and individual writing. Morning sessions were targeted at adults, particularly those with learning needs. The afternoon sessions were targeted at local families.
Other aims are:
To see previous Whitestone projects, please click on the below links.
Whitestone is a Forestry Commission site in the Wye Valley Forest area, situated approximately 10 miles north of Chepstow and 12 miles south of Monmouth just off the A466.