Watercolor Brush 8

CREATIVE FREEDOM

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New spaces, new people, new tasks - for mature Armed Forces veterans, these things can be huge hurdles. In response to tackling isolation and improving mental wellbeing, our Creative Freedom residential experiences offer an opportunity to develop skills and friendships, completely free of charge. In the peaceful, undemanding environment of the beautiful Cambrian Mountains in mid-Wales, run in partnership with the Armed Forces Covenant Trust's Positive Pathways Programme, and Arts Council Wales, veteran groups take part in the following activities:

 

  • Go hill-walking

  • Learn photography skills

  • Try out photo editing

  • Begin carving stone

  • Embark on other visual and written arts of choice

  • Meet like-minded veterans

  • Develop individual artistic style

 

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Photography and Hillwalking

With professional photographer Joe Purches as a guide, Creative Freedom groups walk amongst the Cambrian mountains and hone their photography skills, and allows the mind to slow down and put all the focus in the world on the smallest flowerbud, or on the formidable horizon. 

 

Exploring nature and taking in the space around yourself is already an incredibly mindful process. Apart from learning about operating your camera, composition, and framing, Creative Freedom's photography is built upon that mindfulness as you take time to capture scenes and images just the way you want - and then improve upon it.

The course includes four workshops over two days, allowing the group to develop their own style of photography.

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Stonecarving and other workshops

Following on from the two-day course, participants can join a weekly creative class, to turn their photographs into art. Art forms include prints from photo editing, stone carving, paintings and drawings, as well as in the written form as poetry or journaling. Workshops are run by external experts of their fields, and are suited to any and all skill-levels, from beginner to advanced.

All of our workshops are similarly focused on improving mental wellbeing, and finding positivity and relaxation in our own creativity. Weekly workshops also are a great opportunity to bring regular social interaction back into life, and attending veterans have formed fast friendships over the course of Creative Freedom.

See a selection of photographs, stonecarvings and poetry produced by Creative Freedom veteran participants in the videos below, in both English and in Welsh:

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Rounding the Corner - Oriel Davies Gallery 2022

In February 2022, works of art created by veterans during our Creative Freedom workshops were displayed at the Oriel Davies gallery in Newtown, Powys. Display features included the physical carved stone tablets, full-size prints of photographs taken in the Cambrian mountains, and select poems inspired by the workshops. We would like to thank everybody who has taken part in Creative Freedom so far, everybody who has submitted artwork, and thank the Armed Forces Covenant Trust and Arts Council Wales.

If you are interested in joining the next Creative Freedom residential, or would like more information, feel free to contact us at office@radiatearts.co.uk, or call us at 07542 825952.