Arterie: Launch with lines – Chris O'Brien Lifehouse
 In Arterie, Lifehouse News

Arterie’s creative and educational programs have enriched the lives of so many patients and families, volunteers and staff over the last few years. To celebrate the re-launch of Arterie, our art in healthcare program, we present ‘Launch with Lines’.

The first element of the program to be reintroduced is Carterie, a mobile art and craft activity service. It delivers an accessible studio-like experience to wards and waiting spaces, with health limitations in mind. Launch with Lines is the first activity to be rolled out.

The activity encourages participants to engage in blind contour drawing using simple ‘mark making’ lines, as opposed to drawing. It’s a great first activity as no previous art experience is needed and we are bringing it to public and clinical areas for both patients and staff. It exemplifies the aim of Arterie which is to be accessible to all, regardless of skill and experience, and have expressive outcomes in a relaxing setting.

Participants start by drawing a portrait of the person opposite them. Without looking at the page, they employ a contour line, following various lines of the person’s facial features in one continuous motion. By not looking at the subject, participants let go of false expectations and are truly free to make something that doesn’t have to be realistic. Letting go of expectations in this form is the most fun.

The second activity takes elements from the first method and adds additional materials, improving the participants’ creative skills and intuition. For this activity they can choose pencils, ink or oil pastels for a free-form drawing project. This time a piece of circular, handmade paper is used to create a more layered and abstract work. Using both dominant and non-dominant hands and a white feather as their focus, they create overlapping lines and abstract shapes.

Taking part in these activities can promote a sense of calm and relaxation, helping with feelings of anxiety and depression. The social connection can be an effective antidote to feelings of isolation.

So please, if you see the friendly Carterie volunteers in their orange aprons, make sure you stop and say hello and ask if you can join in.

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