As well as our in-person art workshops in Twickenham, Art & Soul has been providing online workshops for the last few years. Evolved out of the need to adapt to the lockdown situation in 2020, the sessions originally allowed members to maintain social connection through creativity whilst remaining physically distant.
Inviting its artists to create in response to a set theme, the sessions have continued beyond the lifting of lockdown restrictions, providing a fortnightly opportunity for members to meet, discuss their art-making, and connect through art.
Below, we would like to share the story of Art & Soul Online member KT Isaacs, who has kindly spoken about her experiences with the sessions:
"I experienced a very difficult depressive episode at the end of 2022. A close friend had joined Art & Soul a few years again and recommended them to me.
After I made contact, I was invited to a Zoom call with one of the art therapists. She explained I was invited to join Art & Soul online (I believe the in-person sessions were just starting to be re-established after the lockdown). I didn’t think online art sessions would work for me, as I knew I needed connection with others, but I signed up as I was willing to try anything.
I was amazed after the first session to notice I felt really connected to others in the group. I felt much calmer and grounded. I was told at school I wasn’t ‘good at art’ and had not really attended it since. After the first session, I had produced two paintings that helped me express the complex emotions I was feeling. (Image of tree with red circle).
Art & Soul Online sent me my first proper art materials. In the last 6 months, I have used pastels, watercolours, stencils, crayons, charcoal, pencil to name a few. After a few sessions I suffered a crisis of confidence, but spoke about this during the session, and received a lot of positive feedback that encouraged me to continue making art work. Morgan’s knowledge of art materials plus her understanding kept me feeling calm and inspired. Shan’s positivity and encouragement helped me to branch out and keep going.
In a typical session, we loosely work around a theme. Over winter this theme was ‘Grounding’, we then moved on to ‘Blossoming’. The session begins with everyone holding up an art material to the screen, this makes a circle of connection. Shan will then introduce art work that we can use as inspiration, discuss materials or methods, and invite us to create whatever we feel like. We then have half an hour or so to get creative. Beautiful music will be played during this time and art work shared on screen to inspire. After the art-making time is up, we are invited to share what we’ve been working on if we would like to. Some people share their art, others theirs experience of making it. Some keep cameras off, some show their creations. It’s very much up to the individual how they want to interact with the session.
After a few months, Art & Soul had an exhibition and we were all invited to share work. I was nervous but decided to submit some pieces, and got to attend my first ever art display! My time with Art & Soul has boosted my creativity so much. I have learnt tools that help to express mental struggles, uplift my mood and help me to connect with others. I can’t speak highly enough of Art & Soul - you have helped me discover a passion for art I never knew I had, encouraged me to find my own style and keep on creating. I wish everyone could have access to this incredible organisation. Thank you!"
We'd like to thank KT for sharing her story with us, and for helping make Art & Soul Online such a wonderful, thriving creative space.
Art & Soul's online course is set to return on alternate Wednesdays, resuming from Wednesday 6th September. If you are interested in joining these sessions, please register on our website.