Making art slowly also seeps into the book art workshops of Sheelagh Frew-Crane, who teachings the art of bookmaking to promote wellbeing. Frew-Crane has been running book art workshops at Guideposts Trust, Mind, LP Café and Watford Museum, to encourage people to use the space of the book as a mode of mindfulness, a space much like a diary to place thoughts, drawings, ideas and reflections. She sees pages as moments of time, representing days, nights or thoughts, and therefore as visual records of our transitory experiences. Frew-Crane also sees the act of physically ‘building’ a book as a therapeutic venture that occurs slowly and rhythmically. The stitching together of pages, designing the cover, staining the pages and bringing the book together is both a safe and cognitive process. This desire for wellbeing through book making is due to Frew-Crane’s interest in ‘voice hearers’ and mental health, she wants to empower people through providing a space in which to record their experiences and have control over that process of reflection. Frew-Cranes interactions with voice hearers and desire to challenge stigmas attached to those with schizophrenia is currently addressed in her exhibition in Watford Museum’s Space2. I would highly recommend a visit. Spend some time, slow down and own that time.
An exert taken from Gemma Meek's PHD Diary
Sheelagh Frew has worked in the community since August 2015 as a fine artist, book maker and workshop leader for numerous projects both independently, for Watford Borough Council and Watford Museum.
Sheelagh has been a book binder for 6 years and brings a wealth of experience to her workshops.
The Big #WatfordWord Festival with the Books Beyond Words exhibition of books created by people with learning difficulties in the Watford Central Library gallery.
Artist Sheelagh Frew Crane helped them come up with their colourful creations and you can learn more about the Books Beyond Words exhibition here: