Dandelion Project Showcases the Transformative Power of Art and Nature

Posted on: Tuesday, April 9, 2024

Discover the incredible Dandelion Project exhibit, featuring works of art that celebrate the power of nature, human connection, and creativity. The exhibition will soon be open to the public at the National Civil War Centre from Friday 19 April until Saturday 13 July.

The Dandelion Project, a collaboration between the National Civil War Centre and Newark Women's Aid, has transformed lives by providing women with an immersive, soothing, and liberating experience. By weaving the threads of nature, human connection, and art into a tapestry of mental wellbeing, the project has encouraged women to step away from the pressures of their everyday lives and immerse themselves in the soothing embrace of art and nature.

Councillor Rowan Cozens, Portfolio Holder for Heritage, Culture and the Arts at Newark and Sherwood District Council, said: "Through the Dandelion Project, we aimed to create a safe and supportive space for women to reconnect with nature and their inner selves. By combining art, mindfulness, and human connection, we hope to have inspired them to continue exploring the therapeutic benefits of nature-based activities that can improve their mental well-being."

The group took part in weekly sessions held outdoors at the Holt in the Sconce and Devon Park during Autumn 2023. They were invited to explore the park in different ways to help foster a reconnection with nature. The sights, sounds, and scents of the outdoors had a calming effect, centring everyone in the moment and detaching them from life’s mental and physical distractions.

There were opportunities to socialise over a steaming cuppa and homemade cake, helping to form a sanctuary for them to share experiences and stories, support one another, and build friendships. With an emphasis on the creative process instead of the finished piece, the nature-based art activities enabled them to approach the work with a sense of curiosity and created an immersive, absorbing, and liberating experience.

Glyn Hughes, Collections and Exhibitions Manager at the National Civil War Centre, said: “Art pieces like this are great at bringing the community and creativity together.

“This project stands as a testament to the potential for non-medical approaches to mental wellbeing. It is a reminder that, by intertwining the threads of nature, connection, and art, we can foster a healthier, happier, and more connected community. Just like the dandelion, people can blossom in the most challenging of circumstances.

A vandalised horse statue that previously stood at Sconce and Devon Park will also be making an appearance at the exhibition, after its completed restoration. With weekly sessions of the Dandelion Project taking place at the Holt in Sconce and Devon, the women attending took inspiration from the statue for the artwork that will be featured, with patterns from the wood being traced. It was important for the statue to be a part of the exhibition for the artists and will be a great opportunity for visitors to get a closer look and understand how art and nature can inspire us in so many creative ways.

The Dandelion Project exhibition will be open from Friday 19 April until Saturday 13 July. Find out more at www.nationalcivilwarcentre.com or by following the National Civil War Centre on Facebook.