Exploring our Natural Creativity

An introduction from Sue Flowers – from lead organisation ‘Green Close’

People, like the environments they inhabit need treating with care and respect.

The Phoenix Rising project will commence in April 2021 delivering a series of art taster sessions in the Kirkby Lonsdale area, followed by three full terms of activities for people from Central & North Lancashire and South Cumbria. The programme aims to help people experiencing mental distress and develop wellbeing by exploring our connectedness with each other and the world we inhabit. During the programme we will honour the fragility of the earth and also ourselves, aiming to develop a deeper sense of hope and respect for all.

The programme is being co-designed by visual arts organisation Green Close, the Gathering Fields eco-retreat centre, Lancashire Wildlife Trust and the Mandala yoga & wellbeing centre, Preston.

Each six-week course for 10 participants will be delivered in a ‘hybrid’ way with the first three workshops being delivered online followed by two practical workshops being delivered face-to-face and culminating in a group ‘field trip’ activity.

Our full programme starts in June – where we will explore the release and joy of the wilderness, wildflower meadows and being able to finally get outside after the restraints and difficulties of lockdown.

In the autumn we will consider the joy of change exploring the role of trees in our lives and how we can deepen our connection and appreciation of them.

We intend that our winter programme will feel like keeping the fire embers alight, whilst we make time to explore resilience and how we can develop hope in preparation for future growth.

Summer Term : Big Exhale

This first term entitled ‘Big Exhale’ will help participants learn to breathe freely again, exploring a release from anxiety and tension and a joyous uncovering of all that the natural world has to offer us during the summer months.

Autumn Term : Gather-in

During the autumn our ‘Gather-in’ programme will help people explore their personal strengths and creatively harvest their unique individuality in preparation for the shorter days and longer nights ahead.

Winter Term : Quiet Growth

Our winter term ‘Quiet Growth’ will explore restoration and resilience. We will work together to understand more about how we can use our resting energies to bring strength and renewal to our lives. The challenges of winter means we need to take extra care of ourselves at this time so that during the spring we can emerge growing from the darkness.