A new exhibition capturing the cultural diversity of Manchester and as an emotional response to the Manchester Arena attack has opened in Manchester.
Of All the Flowers features photography, painting, textiles, ceramics and garden furniture, in a show which celebrates the cultural diversity of Manchester through flowers.
Manchester residents created their work with Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s (GMMH) creative wellbeing service Recovery Pathways.
Over the past year the Recovery Pathways service has delivered creative sessions across the City including Start, Studio One, Benchmark, Green Wellbeing and through short Arts for Good Health courses to take a closer look at floral examples of the different nations that make up Manchester, without the politics of skin colour and media representation.
Art work created by people accessing the service was put on show at an exhibition last week (25 - 29 June) at GMMH’s The Curve in Prestwich and will run indefinitely as part of a digital display at two other GMMH venues: Studio One in Wythenshawe and Start Cornbrook Enterprise Centre in Hulme.
GMMH’s Recovery Pathways service has been delivering creative sessions for over 20 years through the NHS. Sessions aim to help people live well with mental health difficulties by building their confidence, self-esteem and social skills. The service offers time-limited programmes of specific activities that encourage independence, improve wellbeing strategies, and access to leisure, education and employment or volunteering opportunities.
Greater Manchester Mental Health NHS Foundation Trust’s Recovery Pathways Lead, Charlotte Brown, said: “Around the world countries use a flower to form part of their national identity. This annual exhibition uses flowers to represent the cultural diversity of Manchester. The exhibition coincides with the launch of our streamlined referral process to enable more people to access our service.
“We believe that Art is a powerful tool helping people build self-esteem and connect with the world around them. Participating in the Arts helps service users improve social skills and connect with others. It gives people a chance to do something for them as an individual and feel part of the cultural world.”
One service user from Studio One in Wythenshawe said: “Coming to the studio was very relaxing and had a calming influence on me. It made me realise that if you occupy your mind with positive thinking it makes you feel better inside. I had to use my imagination today which is something that I am good at doing”.
Another added: “I enjoyed the session and it got me motivated. I was feeling pretty low in mood before I got to the studio.”
Clients can be referred to Recovery Pathways through other GMMH services. Short Arts for Good Health courses are also available for those who wish to self-refer. For more information visit: www.gmmh.nhs.uk/recovery-pathways---manchester