Art Enhancing Life – Health- Programme6

Zoe French led the six health and wellbeing focussed Art Enhancing Life programme and ran a series of five workshops aimed a creating expressive portraits. Her workshops were designed to have a therapeutic environment and to focus on the process of being creative rather than on completing a finished product. In her first session the group were free to create whatever they wanted from the materials she provided. They were asked to create something that they felt represent them, which could take the form of a sculpture, drawing or painting. Some participants created landscapes of their home or favourite places whilst others drew inspiration from their names or appearance.

In Zoe’s second session the group created portraits on paper bags. On the outside of the bags they painted self-portraits that resembled their physical appearances, whilst on the inside they created a more abstract work they represented their inner feelings and emotions. After finishing this some participants also created addition portraits showing past or imaged future versions of themselves. In the third session the group looked at emotions and created colour wheels representing different emotions. At the end of this session they were asked to bring in an object that was significant to them for the next workshop.

The fourth session began with the group examining each other’s chosen objects and creating an imagined story based on another participant’s object. They then shared the story they had created with the group before each participant explained the actual backstory behind their significant object. In Zoe’s final session the group reflected on their time together and created individual artworks to represent what they had learned and shared in the workshops. After this everyone came together to create a large collaborative artwork that filled the whole table.


‘I enjoyed everything, painting in different colours, drawing, matching different colours together. There wasn’t anything which I didn’t enjoy. Zoe’s knowledge and delivery style was marvellous.’

‘Zoe’s workshops are great. I created some really expressive work and had the opportunity to freely be creative. She lets us experiment and work in styles that we normally wouldn’t!’

‘Lovely enjoyable workshops as always. It was really therapeutic being left free to play around with paint and colour.’

‘Completely free to use the paints in an expressive sense. It’s weird when I don’t have a painting in my head but at the beginning but it is spontaneous and I love it when grass meets the sky.’

‘I like making things, everyone was helpful, and the decoration were very pretty. Zoe showed me lots of new things. I can’t wait for Wednesdays to come so I can be at Artcore.’

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