Creating Identities

Mindfulness and Art with Jonny Drury at The Art House


After attending the taster session you may wish to do the six session we are planning for later in the year.   More information below.

The six-week Creating Identities programme has been specially developed for Adults with Autism at The Art House, Sheffield (dates to be confirmed) and sponsored by Sheffield Autistic Society.

Through a range of user-led activities, supported by presentations and exercises including mindfulness, creativity and group dialogue, the aim of the programme is to prompt self-discovery, explore the idea of creating identities, support personal narratives and encourage deeper communication and confidence, within our own temporary community.

Did you know people with autism excel in creative thinking yet only 15% of people with autism are in full time paid employment?
And 79% of those would like to be…
(Jolanta Lasota – Ambitious about Autism).

We will create textual, visual and oral work that explores our own lives and communities.  Greater confidence will be achieved by learners through positively succeeding in challenging personal projects and validation of their project in group dialogue and by display and approval.

Sessions include:

Guided mindfulness
My semi-fictional autobiography
Play Power
Imagination & Design
Drawing with the Right Side of the Brain
Sacred Geometry
Self portrait

There will also be a specially made website to upload your own work and thoughts on the programme.

The learners and lead facilitator are adults in the autistic spectrum.  The programme has been designed from a strengths-based autism perspective.  Provision will be made as required for special needs and sensitivities.

It is well known that people on the autistic spectrum have higher than normal stress levels due to sensory processing issues.  Although the sessions will not be a form of therapy, creative activity can provide a therapeutic type of benefit, especially in a group setting and in facilitated dialogue sessions.  This will hopefully aid a stronger sense of identity and greater confidence.  However, the aim is to empower, not heal.

Special requirements:  The programme has been designed from a strengths-based autism perspective.  Provision will be made as required for special needs and sensitivities.
– You don’t need to have any experience or done the taster session
– You do need the ability to follow some basic ground rules (listening, respect confidentiality etc.)
– Attendance for full programme preferred as it is not the usual ‘drop in’ style.
– Due to the possibility of sensory overload, users are free to take time out in or out of the room, provided it doesn’t distract the main group dynamic or activities, which will be fairly focussed at times.

Creating Identities was conceived and executed at Bloc Gallery in 2010 for a group of refugees and asylum seekers and delivered by a number of professional artist-educators, some video of which can be seen here.

Creating Identities can be developed for any organisation.  

Please contact me to register for the above programme or for a more general discussion:
tel: 07754 910156

“If we are to affirm the meaning, the value of our own story, we must make an act of personal faith.  In the end, it is the storyteller who, like any novelist, commands the audience.  Our sense of our meaning of story – that is our contribution to life.”

from Living in Time: A New Look at Personal Development by Phillida Salmon.
(Dent & Sons 1985)