The Art of Connection

One distinctive of the work we do here at Space to Breathe is the way we use the creative arts.

We believe the creative arts provide a language for our thoughts and emotions when its hard to speak things out loud or when how we really feel is hard to pin down.

So we offer to organisations the chance to have an art installation brought to their workplace to provoke a conversation about wellbeing.

These pieces are usually around A1 size, they are created by local artists and they ask a simple wellbeing question. The piece is accompanied with an activity that enables each person to consider their own feelings and asks them to bring feedback or comment to the wider organisation.

One example is The Art of Connection.

The Art of Connection involves a beautiful and original artwork by Sheffield artist Lucy Freeman. We gave Lucy the challenge of coming up with a piece that asks questions of how we connect to others. How do I feel connected in the place I work? What enables me to feel valued? What is my role in the larger picture of my working life?

Lucy created a design and then made the piece a reality at the beginning of 2019.

Next we wanted to create the activity that went with the piece. We created a jigsaw themed response which anyone could connect with. On small pieces of jigsaw are written words which aim to inspire people to know how important they are - that their organisation simply wouldn’t be the same without them. These pieces are designed to be taken away and kept as a source of encouragement.

We believe this sense of connection is vital. Writer Brene Brown puts it like this:

“I define connection as the energy that exists between people when they feel seen, heard, and valued; when they can give and receive without judgment; and when they derive sustenance and strength from the relationship.”

Alongside these small pieces of jigsaw we wanted to make large pieces which people could use to write their feedback on. This feedback would be gathered anonymously and sensitively and fed back into a wider wellbeing discussion with the organisation concerned - giving them real data and a realtime picture of an issue but doing it in a creative and fun way.

Ideally it’d be great to have all the pieces connect together. But how do you make a jigsaw piece like that? Fortunately we met James from Makers on the Abbeydale Road and he helped us make our dream real. Check out the movie at the end of this story for more details.

We are pleased and proud of the Art of Connection and its potential. This is one of many installations we use in different settings.

If you’d like us to come to your workplace and use art to aid wellbeing then why not get in touch?