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  • Writer's pictureIeva Poriete

Blank Canvas Project

Blank Canvas is a voluntary project set up by fashion designer Ieva Poriete. Working in creative industry is very different to many other industries. We relay a lot more on inspiration and creativity. Just like a muscle it needs to be exercised. If and when circumstances change and worry draws in it is harder to keep creativity flowing. I believe that creative industries are overlooked by government when it comes to necessities of running a day to day life. Creativity contributes to problem solving – it can change the perspective and visualise new options. Sometimes it simply adds colour to a plain wall.

Therefor I have done research on psychology and art therapy methods. I conducted my own art therapy inspired workshop trial working with people who are in temporary accommodations and may or may not have been to prison in the past. Response to me turning up fortnight after fortnight with a simple drawing game was remarkable. In a group of 3 to 5 people – two will actively take part, one to two will give it a try, one to two will watch and interact in conversations and three will acknowledge it from a distance. Most frequent comments were:

- I have not hand draw for many years

- I was an artist when I was younger

- This is like being a kid again

- My curiosity is killing me – what are you doing?

- What is the purpose of it

- Look how much better I am doing after 4 sessions.

Group sessions encourage socialization, boosts self-esteem and activates retrieval of memories.

 Current research shows a positive impact and ability to achieve the ambition. Blank Canvas mission is to implement workshop system that helps people boost their self-esteem, activate creativity and return to employment as a valued team member. To implement the stability and longevity we are seeking funding to employ part time art therapists to secure reliable delivery of the workshops.

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