We work with artists to create a space where people using our exhibitions and collections can explore and learn about art, themselves and the world around them. We do this by playing with materials, concepts and processes. Working with partner organisations in the health sector we champion curiosity, creative thinking, risk taking, flexibility and self-knowledge in an environment that is stimulating, supportive, calm and thoughtful. Our artists and participants share the learning process, finding out things together.
We work in partnership with community organisations to encourage people to use the gallery and its collections to improve and enhance their health and wellbeing. We work with a range of groups including young people and adults accessing mental health services, looked after children, older people, and young families. Together, we explore the role of art and creativity in improving, maintaining and understanding our health and well-being.
'I come here (the gallery) and I don't think about anything else.'
Sculpting Thoughts participant
'Thank you for giving me the opportunity to relax.'
Therapeutic Thursday participant
'Today I learnt how to get people to engage with artworks through very simple open ended questions and how to get them to open up about issues in their own lives.'
Jenny, Health Trainer CPD workshop for Healthcare professionals
'I learnt how to take time to look and how to focus properly. I feel so calm..'
Take notice participant
'Learning to not think in all or nothing terms in the artist's studio has helped me not to do it in my day to day life too.
Art of Mindfulness participant
This work began as part of Who Cares? a programme of pilot projects in the North West, researching how museums and galleries can be used to enhance heath and well-being. Since then we have continued our research and development to deliver an ever-growing programme of projects and public workshops which encourage more people to see the gallery as a place that could help them feel good. A space, in which they can learn, connect, take notice, be active and give.
If you’d like to find out more about the Health and wellbeing work at Manchester Art Gallery, contact Louise Thompson, Health and wellbeing Manager:
Tel: 0161 235 8844