‘A few months ago I was prescribed a new pair of glasses with varifocal lenses.  Suddenly the world was transformed and I could see small details as well as distant views, which had seemed quite a blur before…..’

Hi, I’m Mary, spectacle-wearer, care-giver and grandma. I love walking in nature with my elderly dog, Jessie, and I’ve always enjoyed and appreciated art – as long as it was done by someone else!  I moved 500 miles to live in a new home and a new country, and I’m living alone for the first time in 47 years. I’d love to share with you some of our discoveries in Art, Nature & Wellbeing in our Moray group. It might help you to try out something similar too.

We all brought with us a variety of previous experiences and expectations. My own experience of making art was limited to washing the pots after art lessons at school.  And as for making art outdoors…..well, I just had a vision of some great Impressionist with an easel and a palette contemplating the landscape!

My new glasses experience has helped our group to find a way, a metaphor if you like, to explain our new, wider, more focussed view of creativity in nature as we worked together.

With our new ‘metaphorical’ lenses we looked more closely and purposefully at the influence of nature on our own art-making. Some of us looked at details, other preferred a wider view. We learned to adjust our lenses to accommodate the many new perspectivesour research has opened up in recent months.

‘I’m not suggesting everyone need a new pair of glasses! But it is always worth adjusting our old ways of thinking to take in new ideas and perspectives…’

Thinking about art and nature in the context of wellbeing has led us to

    • look at the potential for art making in the most insignificant natural found-object, such as a pebble or a piece of lichen
    • focus on new techniques such as collage or cyanotype printing
    • think about new perspectives on art-making in the context of our groups
    • adjust our ‘lenses’ as we worked quietly on our own or shared the company of others. We each had our own unique views to share with the wider group.
    • find new perspectives which led us to consider wider issues, such as access, participation and evaluation

Exploring, creating and connecting with others, adjusting our ‘lenses’ accordingly, has allowed us to appreciate the world of ‘good stuff’ to be had when you start an Art & Nature journey.  And best of all, we know that at any moment a new perspective will open up and the journey will go on.

We’re looking forward to sharing more about our new perspectives with you soon. We’d also love to hear about what is coming into view for you if you have decided to ‘give it a go‘ and join us in the journey.