This is a cross post from the INSIDE blog, documenting a project I’ve been commissioned to make with Antonia Attwood. The intention is to create new work relating to themes of mental wellbeing and safe spaces. The commission is a collaboration between QUAD and D-Lab in partnership with LEVEL and Junction Arts, supported by funding from DASH. Click here to read other posts related to this project.
As part of the INSIDE commission Antonia and I will be running a series of workshops around our theme of safe and soothing spaces. These workshops are with specific groups of people that may experience their own set of difficulties. I had heard about Borderline Arts a number of years ago and was really keen to get involved, but since we’re geographically so far apart it hadn’t been possible. This was the perfect opportunity to provide a workshop for their users; those that experience the condition Borderline Personality Disorder. In our Build Your Own Safe Space workshop we looked at how we can visualise our fantasy safe spaces or replicate existing ones.
At the beginning of the session we brainstormed on what our safe spaces may look like. If it was a sound, how would we visualise that? What colours would be most soothing? Is it an open natural space or a small contained space to feel secure? Each participant had such unique ideas for their space and had brought photographs to personalise their spaces. For people with BPD, who go through extremely intense emotional experiences, a safe space is so important. Do we need to be contained and safe in our own spaces during periods of crises, or is safety found in freedom when our mood lifts? The workshop provided such rich discussions throughout the session, as well as plenty of laughs.
We’re really looking forward to running our next two workshops: working with youth on the autism spectrum and those aged over 50.