Profile: An insight into working with Creativity Works
A Focus on: Steve Hedley – Artist
What is your connection with Creativity Works?
How did you first come across Creativity Works?
“I went to the doctors with various issues, and the doctor asked me if I could write them down and I said I could probably draw them. The Doctor then said I have a talent for drawing! He asked if I’d thought about getting into art? He told me there were companies I could get involved with and he gave me the contact details for Creativity Works and I got in touch with Philippa. She told me about the Fresh Arts project, which coincidentally was starting the following week – it was perfect timing! I have joined in on everything since. Working with them gives me some kind of direction rather than aimlessly painting.”
Which projects have you been involved with?
“I have been involved in Fresh Arts and Creative Perspectives which kind of followed on from that. I’ve also done some work with Nat on the banners for World Mental Health Day & the picture of fairies on the sunflowers.”
What have you enjoyed the most about working with Creativity Works?
“For me, I did a talk at the Holburne Museum last week, and I didn’t really have anything planned for it, but it sort of came into my head. It’s being in the environment with a lot of inspiration – you genuinely feel that you have the freedom to do whatever you want to do, within reason. I’ve never really thought of myself as an artist before. Any time I’ve been in an environment where I’ve been able to draw something there have always been specific restrictions, specifications, like the teacher in the classroom. That’s one thing I commend everyone on, is that there has never been any restrictions. Its nice to be in an environment where I’ve never felt judged, I’ve always felt equal. I’ve felt the environment is absolutely brilliant. It’s definitely helped me to progress to where I am now, especially on a social acceptance level. Since I’ve been in contact with creativity works – the 6 months, my social tests, the rating has gone from -40 down to -17, with zero being so called “normal”. That’s all down to you guys allowing me to expose myself to things slowly. Last week I stood up in front of loads of people and did a talk – there’s absolutely no way I would have been able to do that 6 months ago.”
What have you found surprising about Creativity Works?
“I’d probably say, I’ve found all of it quite surprising – even that the place existed to be perfectly honest. I’d always assumed that places like this are for people like elderly people. I’d have said that I am not the sort of person who would have gone to an art group. It was surprising to find people of roughly my own age, with roughly the same abilities as me. I was surprised at the way it all worked. I genuinely felt that I wasn’t worthy of going into a museum and doing artwork. They were opportunities that I would not have expected to be given. It is a big thing. I don’t know whether I looked at it as a challenge to myself – someone is giving me these opportunities, I can’t not take them. They are the sort of places I wouldn’t of even thought of going.”
In what way has Creativity Works been of value or support to you?
“From a support point of view Philippa and Nat have been absolutely brilliant – there has never been any pressure. They are always there to bend ears so to speak. It’s made me go from quite inside myself to actually accept social situations a lot more.It actually got to the point where I really wanted to go – I built my weekly routine around these things.”
What has been your biggest professional, personal or creative achievement to date?
“I was ranked in the top 10 UK DJ DMC Chamionships in 2006. And the exposure of my pictures at the Holburne would rank alongside that. These are both standing up and showing my creativity.”
Do you have any creative aspirations for the future (with or without Creativity Works)?
“Eventually I’d like to be able to be self-sufficient by selling my art so I can support myself. I’ve always been like this and liked to be independent, and this way if I’m having a bad day, I can still sit down and paint.”