Hope to gather in an art studio

Since joining Artsenta, Diane Lloyd has been embraced by the creation of ceramics and has been happy with her mental health.

“If the situation is very miserable, hopeful and able to nurture what people are enjoying, it will be a unique impetus,” she says.

Dunedin’s Art Studio is for people who use mental health services. It’s free and provides space for creating all types of art, activities, resources and professional art workers.

Diane may sound stale, but the studio helps her achieve the right balance and shares it.

Mentioning the importance of attending regularly, she says, “the purpose of working, a little confidence and hope in what you can do, attending. It doesn’t happen naturally.”

She believes that the Artsenta environment helps foster faith and hope, as people with arts, music and craft skills work with beginners. They are artists reaching out in a shared space.

“We tend to talk about art, music and food, not about our stories and problems.”

This studio is based on purpose, not a platform for sharing mental health stories.

Diane has been diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, and schizoaffective disorder. She hasn’t been sick since she started working in Argenta almost two years ago.

“Being able to go here, work here, be creative and take medicine has completely stabilized me.”

To a ceramic art journey

Thirty years ago, Diane was a single mother who joined the Cromwell Ladies Pottery Group for about a year while her two daughters were in the nursery, flooding her family and friends with pots. Then she set the hobby aside.

Recently, when working as a full-time nurse, she began to have stress problems, and a woman from the Otago Mental Health Support Trust suggested Argenta.

Diane suffers from lung disease and was dismissed from a nurse and became more involved in the art studio during a pandemic of the new coronavirus infection in early 2020.

“[It was] As a way to put something in everyday life, and my pottery has become popular in a way. “

She understood what was happening at work and in life.

“I feel so good about myself that I realize that the pressure and stress associated with work is actually too great.”

She loves the physical properties of potting and deliberately wakes up to shape something, waits for it to dry, bisque-fires in a kiln, glazes, decorates, and re-fires. Describes the process for 4-6 weeks including.

Artist Diane Lloyd puts pottery in a kiln for bisque firing at the Artsenta studio in Dunedin.

“It’s very complex and has its own momentum overall.”

Diane used to be self-isolated because her experience was not tied to the experience of others, but she found something in common in Argenta.

“Here is a shared kind of experience and acceptance-I think it’s acceptance.”

She likes to make practical household items, both hand-kneaded and potter’s wheel.

When I came here, I realized that I had the skills that I took for granted, but now I see them as a gift. “

As Diane began to produce more than the studio resources offered, Artsenta helped her join the Otago Potters Group.

Although she has never belonged to any club, she is now a member of this group and is a collection of markets as she sells pots in various local markets.

And what about customer feedback?

“People love it and say it’s beautiful. Some people say,” I use your bowl and think about you every time I use it. “

She says it’s a pleasure to make something that stays alive for someone.

Large community space

Behind the wide windows of Princes St, Artsenta’s large community space has plenty of worktables, a general tool area, a recording studio, a kiln, a rokuro, sewing tools, knitting tools, an art library, and a shared kitchen. ..

Claire, an art worker in the Creative Arts Trust Collection at Artsenta’s Shared Art Studio in Dunedin

People can work on jewelry, music, writing, painting, drawing, porcelain, pewter casting, prints, bone carvings, glass and more.

According to one of the art workers, Dio Murray, some artists come to the studio every day, some artists come to the studio weekly or monthly, and some artists come to the studio more often.

For many, the most difficult task is leaving home. When they arrive at Artsenta, the focus is on creativity rather than mental health.

It’s like they’re taking off their mental health coat and putting it at the front door. “

Some people have just been discharged and are recovering, while others are working and getting sick, so staying in the studio can prevent them from progressing.

Art Workers are session coaches, skills teachers and creative coaches.

Artists get to know each other while making works.

“It’s great to be able to connect with people through creativity,” says Dee.

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Fact file

  • Argenta Has been running for 35 years and is run by the Creative Arts Trust.
  • Funding comes primarily from the Southern District Health Commission, as well as from the Ministry of Social Development and local organizations.
  • click Here Artsenta Artist Profile, Video, Writer Blog

Hope to gather in an art studio

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