When staff member Cheryl spotted a Facebook post seeking artwork for an online gallery, she knew just the man to take part: David, who is part of the household at Livability Anvil House.
David, who has profound intellectual disabilities, enjoys arts and crafts enormously, and staff make sure this activity is a regular part of his week. Cheryl explained the Art to Fundraise project to David: artists were invited to create and donate a postcard-sized piece of work, on the theme of bee-friendly flowers and plants. The work was to be shown online and sold, to raise funds for the Flourish ecotherapy project at Livability Holton Lee, which supports people with a wide range of disabilities and mental health issues.
To provide inspiration and encouragement, Livability Holton Lee hosted an art webinar, where creative staff demonstrated ideas and techniques that could be used by people of any ability and experience. ‘It was really interesting and gave me all sorts of ideas that David could use, such as using bubble wrap to print,’ Cheryl says.
‘David loves to use crayons and pencils, so in the end, he chose that as his medium,’ says Cheryl. Cheryl too felt inspired, having spent much time in her garden during lockdown, including raising her own vegetables and noticing which plants attracted bees.
Cheryl enabled David by making a step-by-step drawing, as demonstrated in the webinar, with David following her lead, as he likes to do when making art. They each created a delicate, pastel image of a lavender flower with a bee. This work was then scanned and uploaded to the online gallery.
‘David doesn’t speak but he shows he’s happy with a “thumbs up” sign, and he was definitely very happy and proud of what he’d achieved,’ says Cheryl. ‘He took it to show all the members of staff here and has followed up on this since, by creating paintings on stones, depicting bees. He spent a long time creating these, and he’s kept them on a shelf near his bed.’