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  • Rae Story

Mindful Nature Photography in Swinton Grove Park & Elizabeth Gaskell's Garden

As well as running the Breathing Spaces project this year, we are also very fortunate to have been asked to run a series of drawing and photography workshops for Elizabeth Gaskell's House as part of their celebration events for the bicentenary of Ruskin’s birth.

Previously we ran a mindful drawing workshop, one month ago, and the weather was a bit dreary and it drizzled quite a lot. Yesterday could not have been more different. The sun shone down on us and illuminated our environment in a perfect way for photography. It does make such a difference.

We gathered at our favourite work bench in Swinton Grove Park and I did a short meditation to begin the session, guiding people to let go of whatever was going on for them in their lives and to return to their mind and body in that very moment. I used a series or sensory practices to help people ground themselves in the here and now and when people opened their eyes they were encouraged to see the park with fresh eyes and a new openness. There was a brief with three parts given to all participants and with our volunteers Lima and Amanda people set about responding to the brief.

Here are some documentary images of people working in Swinton Grove Park:

Crossing the road, we arrived at the back entrance to Elizabeth Gaskell's House and everyone was gasping for a drink so we took this group photo and headed for the cool shade of their cafe

The second half of the workshop was again run with a meditation and another brief of three tasks to focus peoples minds. You can see from the photographs just how diligently people worked. Take it from me they have all got some stunning images! Hopefully we can share some of them with you soon.

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