Understanding the self-reported benefits of nature based creative practice.

As part of research at The University of Sunderland, this project was delivered by Artist and Research Associate Jane Young. The project, which was funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) was run as a series of nature-based creative art sessions with an exhibition of the artwork created held at the end. The focus of the project was to begin to develop a solid evidence base for the way in which walking and creative practice in the form of art can increase subjective wellbeing.

The anticipation being that these practices can be used as a green space social prescribing health intervention.Participants from the local community of Barnard Castle in Teesdale took part in a series of 10 x 2 hour sessions over 10 weeks.Each session consisted of walking through and engaging with nature as a stimulus to the creation of artwork both outdoors and indoors.

The project combined both culture and health related approaches. It encouraged people to creatively reflect upon their local environment and community in ways that are relevant to them. It explored the possibility that our sense of ourselves (so crucial to a sense of wellbeing) is linked to an emotional, embodied, and creative understanding of the environment. Members of the public took part in and contributed to research that uniquely examined the way in which creative expression of a walking through nature experience might increase subjective wellbeing (SWB).