There’s no denying it – this year has been tough! Like us all, young people have felt the damaging effects of the coronavirus crisis with huge disruptions to their everyday lives, and perhaps most of all – their education.
To support the ‘new normal’, Turner Contemporary has seven new creative mindfulness activities to help students relax, recuperate, and refocus in school time.
What is creative mindfulness?
Mindfulness has become a popular tool to support mental wellbeing, relieve stress and improve concentration.
Mindfulness and meditation have many stereotypes, however, being in the ‘present moment’ simply means that your head is focused on what is going on right now, rather than it thinking (and worrying!) about other things.
Another stereotype is mindfulness always means a cross-legged, silent meditation. Even though you can practice mindfulness this way, more people are trying new, ever-popular ways to have ‘mindful moments’ through actions and activities. One such activity is mindful art and creative mindfulness.
Have you ever been drawing or making something and the time has just flown by? What you probably experienced was a form of creative mindfulness. Sometimes, it’s just the process of doing something creative that’s enjoyable, rather than the finished result, and this is what creative mindfulness is all about.
Turner Contemporary’s Seven Creative Mindfulness Resources.
Turner Contemporary’s seven new resources can help practice being ‘mindful’. They can help students pay attention to themselves, their thoughts and feelings, and what is going on around them. All to help them be in the present moment.
The videos are free to access (see details below) and can be used in the classroom as a lesson starter for any subject or to begin and end the day. They can also be used to increase focus and act as a creative prompt for art lessons.
Each of the activities takes around 5-10 minutes and are broken down into step by step chapters you can join in with. The creative mindfulness resources are particularly suited to students in KS3 (Years 7-9), but students and adults of all ages can use these resources to find a moment of creative calm.
You can take a look at all of Turner Contemporary’s Creative Mindfulness Resources on their website or find more details of each session below.
Turner Skies Mindful Moment
Take a mindful moment to take in the view from Turner Contemporary, and use it as an anchor to pull you back to the present moment. Practice concentration, close looking and awareness as you look at the view, and then translate your unique experience into an artwork with your classmates.
Learn how to use drawing techniques as tools for being calm and creative. Draw along with these timed exercises and try to enjoy the process of creating rather than the end result.
Looking Mindfully at Art
In this simple calming activity you’ll be doing a guided meditation on J.M.W Turner’s beautiful painting The Evening Star. What can you see when you spend time with an artwork?
In this activity, we’re going to let our creativity take over, creating our own unique shapes and patterns using surrealist drawing methods. You can do this exercise for as long as you like, and use it to take your mind off of your worries or to get inspired.
How much can you notice when you really pay attention to your senses? Practice mindful listening in a guided listening exercise, and translate what you hear into a visual soundscape!
Drawing Your Breath
When we’re feeling overwhelmed, sometimes it helps to just concentrate on our breathing. In this guided drawing activity, draw along to your breathing to get into the flow and relax.
Practice mindful looking with this guided meditation on Patrick Heron’s painting Christmas Eve 1951, and then create a collage poem from the point of view of one of the characters in the painting.
Download Turner Contemporary’s accompanying Creative Mindfulness Education Resource.
Download this free printable education resource full of simple creative mindfulness exercises and activities to help practice creative mindfulness at home.
About Turner Contemporary.
Turner Contemporary is one of the UK’s leading art galleries. Founded to celebrate JMW Turner’s connection to Margate in 2001, the David Chipperfield designed gallery opened in 2011.
Their work extends beyond showcasing world-class exhibitions, to driving the social and economic regeneration of Margate and East Kent and transforming lives in one of the most deprived areas of the UK. Since opening, Turner Contemporary has welcomed over 3.5million visits, put over £70million back into the Kent economy and connected with thousands of people from the local community through their world-class programme.
Every year they work with thousands of children and young people from Margate and Kent. Their pioneering learning programme champions children’s leadership through the arts. Inspired by JMW Turner’s sense of curiosity and inquiry, the gallery offers a space for everyone to discover different ways of seeing, thinking and learning.