Creativity and the arts can, and do, have a powerful effect upon people’s health and wellbeing.

Creating art is universal human behaviour; regardless of culture or time, humans have always made art.  This strongly indicates that we need and benefit from art in some way.  Our work is about helping to establish exactly what these benefits are and finding out how we can integrate them into our health care systems and everyday lives.

In our modern, fast paced lives we can easily forget our inherent creativity and believe things like “I cannot sing” or “art is something that you only look at in galleries”.

The Arts for Cancer movement is about reclaiming the arts for everybody, about getting over the notions of ‘good’ or ‘bad’ art and focusing on a different system of values… on the many benefits that creativity brings; lifting us out of being ‘stuck’ in ill health and into other possibilities.

Taking part in creative activities can often plant the seeds for future change and possibility, and remind people of their abilities.

Creativity requires us to use our imaginations, which have endless possibilities and work on their own timescales.  People often change in profound, yet subtle ways by being involved in a meaningful creative project.  Sometimes they may not even notice it at the time, but may realise looking back years later what a difference it made to their life.

You can read more about the impact of arts and health on Arts & Health South West’s evidence page.