The Creative Mind is a partnership project between Huddersfield Literature Festival (HLF) and Kirklees TSL project Words in Mind, with support from the One World refugee craft group, Woven Festival and Fettle Animation.
Exploring the links between creativity and mental wellbeing, the project comprises a number of initiatives, see The Creative Mind press release for full details.
The Creative Mind animated film, with contributions from Kit de Waal, Joanne Harris, Jackie Kay, Lisa Luxx, Nikesh Shukla and Lemn Sissay.
The Creative Mind banner, crafted by the One World refugee craft group and inspired by Lemn Sissay’s quote from the animated film, this was unveiled at a talk by Lemn Sissay on 11 March 2020, organised by the University of Huddersfield’s School of Human and Health Sciences, in partnership with HLF.
The Creative Mind audience participation. At Lemn Sissay’s event, we asked audience members to answer the question: How does creativity improve mental wellbeing? Here are some of the contributions:
“Enables the release of suppressed emotion. Improves self-esteem via achievement” Janice Nixon
“Allows expression of our thoughts and emotions to allow us to reach out and share and connect with others” Blythe Beresford
“Expressing yourself in any (lots if poss) ways creatively makes you a stronger, more interesting, more confident, more self assured and empowered human” de la Gamarouche
“Not having a creative outlet – whether dance, writing, craft, song, painting – is (in my experience) likely to lead to mental health issues. Exploring one’s creativity and expressing one’s feelings through art is part of being human” Terry Evans
“I taught English in Huddersfield for virtually my whole career and in that time organised many arts events. My experience tells me that the creative process brings joy and growth to all, regardless of ability, and should be a cornerstone of our educational system” Huw Evans
“It takes you back to yourself, and lets you express yourself, which must be good for your wellbeing. Also you have made something, which you didn’t have before, which you can share; and everyone can do something” S Gandy
“Creativity – or at least the act of creating something, can give a sense of self worth. But mental wellbeing may be too comfortable a sense to drive creativity” Bill Roberts
“Gives mental space. Clarity. Pride” Sue Boynton
“Put most simply, creativity broadens your horizons. You see the bigger picture and understand more” Cliff Lorenzelli
“Even thought a lot of people don’t feel it, I feel that ALL humans are creative. So important to create/dream/imagine” Anon
“Creativity and wellbeing for me goes hand in hand; the creative mind is continually being inspired divinely and by nature in positive ways” Audrey H
“The positivity of creating something new. Processing emotions and untangling thoughts. Creating something that others can relate to. Expression in different forms” Emily Harford
“Being a member of a long running creative writing group in Holmfirth has been a source of joy for me. Words feed my soul and give me wings to fly. I couldn’t survive without them” Sally Brown
“It provides focus, requires concentration, opportunity to express oneself. Non-threatening. An ‘end product’ to enjoy. can be a sociable experience” Jo Cheesbrough
“Creativity gives you focus, research has shown that idle people who have no goals or focus in life have higher rates of depression. Therefore creativity improves your mental health” Anon
“As a freelance artist who has worked in mental health for 12 years, I have at first hand witnessed how creativity heals the mind, soul and spirit. All forms of creativity heals the broken parts of our minds. It is soul medicine! Creativity enables each of us to navigate our own inner journey to mend and heal that which is broken. Every individual needs to access their creative natures so that we can achieve greater well being in our society” Sarah Sheard
“When you are lost in the ‘doing’ (for me visual art and music) then your ego falls asleep. It’s an important way for a balance in our minds” Peter