I get a deep sense of joy from seeing people absolutely enjoying themselves.
I worked in Milestones’ services for about six years. As soon as I heard about the Expressions arts group, I wanted to get involved. I’m quite arty myself: I work with watercolours and acrylics, and I make things like jewellery, soap and candles. It’s always something I’ve enjoyed doing as a hobby. So I’d bring people we support to Expressions and help out. Now I’ve retired and I’ve carried on helping out as a volunteer.
Expressions gives people supported by Milestones the opportunity to express themselves through art. It’s a space where people feel safe and able to be themselves. We have lovely chats and new friendships often blossom. The studio can also be quite quiet when we’re all working on our art together, and there’s a really nice sense of peace about the place. Someone might arrive feeling a bit anxious but by the end of the session they feel calmer.
Being creative can improve people’s wellbeing, and I’ve seen people really develop over the years that I’ve been a part of Expressions. I get a deep sense of joy from seeing people absolutely enjoying themselves, whilst developing their artistic practice and flourishing. Everyone is able to communicate and express their enjoyment of being part of the group.
Louise, Expressions’ Project Coordinator, has really moved the art forward, whilst still keeping everyone engaged, whatever their ability. People learn about contemporary art, and the sessions are full of inspiration. It’s great for people’s self esteem when they develop their skills. At our public exhibitions everyone is involved in every aspect of putting the event together, which is then enjoyed by all.
I feel very valued as a volunteer. Louise and Emma, another staff member at Expressions, are lovely people to work with. I’m retired now but it’s nice to still be able to offer something. It’s enjoyable and very rewarding. When I come here, I feel like I’m part of a big family.
Come to our next Expressions event:
MODERN MYTHS: An exhibition of Contemporary Art.
6th -13th July 2023 at Fishponds Old Library, Fishponds Road, Bristol, BS16 3UH. 6th -13th July 2023.