Artistic Spectrum

03 June 2021

Artistic Spectrum was set up to tackle social isolation experienced by individuals on the autistic spectrum or with learning difficulties. Strong social connections are important first steps in being able to address other factors which affect health.

Some research has found that almost 8 in 10 autistic adults will suffer mental health issues and social isolation has been cited as one of the contributing factors to health inequalities amongst autistic adults.

Through creative activities, project participants have built social connections, gained confidence and found pride in their talents. The “Our Town” project funded by People’s Health Trust has a huge range of contributors aged 16 to 64 with a massive range of artistic talents from sculpting to painting.

Artistic Spectrum works primarily with adults and children on the autistic spectrum. As part of Autistic Pride Day on 18 June 2021 the project will be sharing examples of artwork created by participants, showcasing the positive impacts autistic individuals have had on their community.

One of these great examples is a gallery of ‘Famous Faces’ artwork created using recycled materials. The work has been exhibited in London, Doncaster, Nottingham and Hull and will now be exhibited online on the project’s website.

The Famous Faces project came about from one of the project participants who shredded paper as a sensory process to relieve anxiety. The arts and crafts workshop was getting overwhelmed with shredded paper and so they came up with the idea to create a portrait of the Queen with the shredded materials.

From here the project progressed and students started to bring in their own scrap and recycled materials to add to the portrait, such as broken jewellery, easter egg foil, buttons and shells. One of the project participants who is non-verbal is a big fan of Elvis and likes to sing Elvis songs so the group decided that Elvis would be the next portrait. From here the collection grew with more famous faces being created from recycled materials.

Creating the Famous Faces collection provided an activity that all participants could get involved in. Whilst some participants enjoyed working directly with the artwork, others provided support by sorting the recycled materials into different colours. The collaborative aspect of the project helped people form social connections and build confidence.

For some of the members of Artistic Spectrum the arts and crafts session is the main activity they attend on a weekly basis. Through attending this project, participants have become more independent and have gone on to volunteer and access more social activities within the community like meeting up and playing pool together.

For some participants who are non-verbal, the project provides a safe environment where they have the opportunity to express themself and engage with other people but not through verbal communication.

The Artistic Spectrum, who are funded through People’s Health Trust’s Active Communities programme using money raised through Health Lottery Yorkshire and Humber, will be showcasing the exhibition alongside other artwork in recognition of Autistic Pride Day. You can view the exhibition here:

You have already completed an application for funding, are you sure you would like to submit another application? You should only submit another application if it is for a different project. If you want to amend an application that has already been submitted, please call us on 020 7749 9100.

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