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Poetry Session

Local poet Nige Wood started the Breathing Spaces poetry sessions today and here is some of what was going on...

Appreciating Music

Brian was at Back on Track today where he is learning to play the guitar. He spent his time today creating a beautiful picture of all the different aspects that he is learning about. Here is the finished piece:

Slap Dash Publishing at Elizabeth Gaskell House

We will have a stall at the next Second Hand Book Sale at Elizabeth Gaskell House - Sunday 12th May. If you are interested in books generally or our unique community publishing project come along and have a chat with us - Dominique Tessier the author of Rent Book will be there to answer your quetions.

Differing Perspectives

Someone told me this: I have been labouring up in the Lake District - building some dry stone walls. Today I stopped for a break with my work mate. We were sitting just looking over this whole vast landscape, drinking our tea and I was thinking how lucky we were to be working here and how beautiful it was. At that my moment, my work mate turned to me and said "this is shit isn't it?"

Art, Nature, Elizabeth Gaskell & Ruskin

Today we did the first of four workshops at Elizabeth Gaskell's House as part of our contribution to their celebration of Ruskin during 2019. Based on Ruskin's notion that engagement with art and nature can enrich people's lives spiritually and lift us out of the mundane concerns and stresses of our lives we explored Swinton Grove Park and Elizabeth Gaskell's Garden for most of the afternoon. Below are some of the images we made as we looked at plants and flowers, trees and shrubs. Spending time with plant life and so much new growth at this time of year was a pure pleasure and as Trae said back at St Luke's: "everyone came in with a big smile on their face". That says it all really. Spendin

Listening to the Dusk Chorus

This year we are celebrating International Dawn Chorus at the other end of the day. The Dusk period or ‘Twilight’ offers another chance to tune into the natural rhythm of the day as the birds gather once again after their busy day to roost for the evening.Their final songs communicate and connect with each other and with whomever wants to listen. What are they saying? How is this different to their Dawn song and how do we feel when we take time out to gather in a quiet place to give them our attention for one day of the year? Join us to find out... Once again we are very happy to be partnering with Parrs Wood Environmental Centre for this special event.

Celebrating Ruskin

We are very happy to be have been invited to partner with Elizabeth Gaskell's House to celebrate Ruskin's Legacy by running a series of drawing and photography workshops for people at TLC St Luke's. This project echoes Ruskin's theory that engagement with art and nature can enrich people's lives spiritually and lift us out of the mundane concerns and stresses of our lives. This project will explore the environmental links between the House and the surrounding area, both current and historical. This project is a perfect partnership with our Breathing Spaces Project which is exploring the connection between our environment and our health and well-being and we are very excited to begin explorin

Have you had your daily dose? Try Ardwick Green

Just been reading some of the many research articles about the health benefits of green and quiet spaces. This article sets it all out pretty well and recommends that we need a 'daily dose of neighbourhood nature'. Have you had yours today? I recommend getting off the bus a stop or two early to explore some of the city's great green spaces when you are out and about. Today I got off the 192 a couple of stops early to walk through Ardwick Green and see the cherry blossom. It was so worth it. The blossoms are just open and fresh and beautiful against the deep blue sky that we had today. A real treat. As well as the beautiful blossoms I also saw a lovely covering of a blue bulb that head is gra

Forest 404 Experiment

We have heard a lot about how environment and green spaces can effect our mood and emotions. This project explores the same question but with sounds. What is the relationship between different sounds and whether they effect our mood? This was the whole theme of Mapping Manchester's Quiet Spaces the link between sound levels and mental health. The experiment is related to the Forest 404 Podcast which is an eco-thriller about The Forest 404 Experiment is a research partnership between BBC Radio 4, the BBC Natural History Unit, the University of Bristol, the Open University and the University of Exeter: Set in the 24th Century following a data crash called The Cataclysm, Timothy X Atack’s thril

Portico Library

As part of our city center visit, we arranged a tour of the Portico Library and found out all about this historic purpose-built Library. None of the people on the visit had ever been there before, and most people didn't know it existed. One person had been on their mailing list for years but always had anxiety about actually crossing the threshold. Everybody appreciated the peace and quiet in this special place, and we felt very welcome and comfortable in the space. I think this will turn out to be a very unique breathing space for us all. Aoife who lead our tour kindly shared some very special books with us, knowing that we are an art group she selected books with beautiful illustrations. W

Leondardo de Vinci and Martin Parr

Who'd have thought of seeing these two exhibitions on the same trip! That is one of the amazing things about visiting the Manchester City Art Gallery that you really can see the greats of the past alongside contemporary art. It was very special to be in the presence of Leonardo de Vinci's drawings. There is something in the spirit of a person in the marks that we make and these drawings looked as fresh as if they had been drawn yesterday. Just beautiful and very inspiring to a few members of our group. Different people picked up on different things. For one person it was the materials that he used, for another it was finding out about his other talents, for another person it was the realisat

What makes a Breathing Space?

Painting by Camilla Luff As part of our Breathing Spaces Project we are interested in what makes a Breathing Space? How do we decide if somewhere is or isn't a Breathing Space? When I saw this painting I thought as beautifully minimal as it is, it does contain some of my personal criteria for a Breathing Space - that is 1) the presence of trees/plants, and 2) Open Space. Here in the painting there is a clearing in the woods, in the path where the people walk there is space around them, containing them. When I walk outside I like to be able to see both trees and sky, a vista of the changing skyscape reminds me of the ever-shifting nature of all things and helps me to gain a fresh perspective

Mindful Art in the City Center

Mindful Marks 14th April From artist Naomi Kendrick: The Spring 'Mindful Marks' at Manchester Art Gallery is almost upon us and I'm delighted to say that we be mindfully mark making in the gallery spaces to live music from dbh (playing acoustic guitar) As usual the session is 12-2pm, free and you can drop in anytime staying for as little or as long as you like. No drawing experience required. Naomi will be running a couple of drawing workshops for our Breathing Spaces project in June and July - so please keep checking the What's On section of this site and get involved.

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