The Phoenix Art & Health Project: A Visual Arts Mental Health & Wellbeing Programme

Thanks to investment from Arts Council England’s Covid-19 Emergency Response Fund in 2020, Green Close worked in partnership with Lancashire and South Cumbria NHS Foundation Trust (LSCFT) to deliver a visual art mental health and wellbeing programme ‘The Phoenix Project’ to provide a range of FREE online and interactive workshops accessible to people from home.

Launched as a series of creative workshops, offered as part of LSCFT’s Recovery College online programme, Green Close worked with 21 contemporary artists to plan and deliver engaging remote visual art workshops across a series of core themes including bereavement and loss; stress and anxiety and isolation. 

At a time when many people were feeling socially isolated, these sessions tested the effectiveness of delivering visual arts online to increase positive mental health and wellbeing, and in some instances help people manage pre-existing conditions. 

Green Close Artistic Director Sue Flowers, who had previously worked within the Spectrum Centre for Mental Health Research at Lancaster University said: 

“We chose the name Phoenix as it is a powerful symbol for strength and renewal and one of its known powers is empathy. We believe that we all have both physical and mental health needs, and that every individual has something uniquely remarkable to offer the world. Making art can be a valuable tool in developing self-understanding”.

Download the full evaluation report here –

‘Nature Cures’ created during the Covid-19 Pandemic
Sue Flowers, April 2020