Magic Carpet: The museum as inspiration for creativity and mental wellbeing
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) worked with the charity Magic Carpet for a creative and inspiring project aimed at improving the wellbeing of vulnerable adults.
- Enhancing wellbeing
- Working with more vulnerable people
- Strengthening communities
- Working in appropriate partnerships
RAMM collaborated with a consortium of community partners led by Magic Carpet, an Exeter-based arts-for-health charity, to develop a project targeting people with mental health issues and mild learning disabilities. The 23 participants were recruited through community partners. The project was funded by Renaissance – government funding for regional museums – enabling RAMM to explore how it could contribute to the work of agencies in other sectors.
RAMM staff and volunteers introduced the group to the museum’s collections, firing their imaginations. The project provided opportunities for the participants to explore their own lives and find creative expressions. Activities ranged from casting fossils from objects in participants’ own lives to printing t-shirts based on butterflies and making oil paintings inspired by RAMMs’ Fine Art collection. Participants – who kept creative weekly journals – were required to commit to the project, be willing to engage with the collections, and be openminded. Sessions ran twice a week between December 2011 and March 2012, a total of 35 sessions.
The project was a transformational experience for many of those who took part. It helped to build confidence and improve people’s satisfaction with life. For participants and their friends and families, RAMM became a part of their community.
What did people say?
“It would have been great if it was longer. Such a big museum, so much inspiration.” Participant
“I have felt more confident to try new things in these sessions and this has made an impact on my life in general. I am more willing to try new things outside these sessions.” Participant
“A wider knowledge – learning about things that you wouldn’t necessarily have checked out, but because of the situation, you do and it surprises you.” Participant
“Validation! Why? To be invited to the museum.” Participant
Partners are seeking funding to offer sessions to a new cohort of vulnerable adults.
For further information
Please contact Ruth Gidley, RAMM Engagement Officer: [email protected].