An interview with Mark Cruse, a very nice man and Inkwell’s Manager

Aside

 Milan: How was Inkwell set up?

 Mark: Well it was a Pub …

Milan: I know I used to come here The Shoulder of Mutton I am a Chapel-Town boy and Chapel-town’s not far away …

 Mark: It was set up 4 years ago…It’s great for us all really. Inkwell was an idea to set up a safe place space for people with mental health needs to change neurosis to artistic creativity by seeing creativity in their difficulties. It is shaped by users suggestions, opinions, and involvement

Inkwell is a project of Leeds Mind. Art is therapeutic, creativity is therapeutic, you don’t need to be an Art Therapist to see that. Inkwell is very busy with various projects art, painting, drumming, Secret Cinema monthly, on which Sue Renagur wrote a post for leedswellbeingweb.

 There’s also Meditation Classes run there by Leeds Mind Peer SupportCall Leeds MIND on 0113 3055 802.

Some subjects taught are:

1. Mindfulness of Breathing – Steve HART

2. Loving Kindness – Steve Hart

3. ZaZen Practice

4. Body Scan [for relaxation and bliss]

5. Mahamudra – you’ll have to ask Steve, or better come along!?

 In Conclusion: There’s plenty of good things going on in the world, in which YOU can participate, for your improved physical, mental and spiritual well-being, and that of others too.

There is always possibility, despite the dark side of life and the world, so don’t lose out, get the power of positive arting, creating, thinking, meditating out. Don’t stay inside your head, or de bed.

Life is for living, and life is short.

 by Milan Buddha ‘mad’ (i.e. True Individual) GHosh.

 Another post is coming very soon…

on…

 artsandminds Leeds and York NHS Trust

 Milan blogging on and on this time for Arts and Minds…

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Shoulder Stories

The Shoulder of Mutton pub on Potternewton Lane had a long and chequered history before it became the Inkwell Arts Centre, and an exhibition currently running there as part of the Love Arts Festival is aiming to give a flavour of those days.

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What are the origins of the Shoulder of Mutton and how did a pub named after a slab of meat become the vibrant vegetarian café and arts centre that it is today? This is the question posed by David Mackie in his history of the pub that forms part of the exhibition. The original tavern was built in the 1700s.

‘It is said to have been a pleasant journey from Leeds to Allerton 200 years ago past the small and charming hamlet of Sheepscar with it’s village green’.

Although you did have to watch out for highwaymen apparently, before you get too nostalgic.

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There’s lots more fascinating stuff.

‘By the 1770s Chapel Allerton was beginning to play the role of a resort or retreat for the members of the higher classes of Leeds’

– who would have thought that? There’s lots about the more recent history of the pub, including its eventually loss of its licence because of drug offences.

There’s some information about the project at the following blog: http://ourshoulderstories.wordpress.com/

presumably you can leave your memories there – although many people seem to have taken to writing theirs on the walls.

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Inkwell seems to have gone into overdrive at the moment. A glance at their what’s on poster shows a whole range of interesting stuff from life drawing classes, a jazz choir, a ‘secret cinema’, creative writing and lots more, so it’s a very good time to call in for a look at the history of the pub. Particularly good times would seem to be for the Craft Café on Thursday afternoons (cakes, crafts and fun), or the Saturday Café (homemade vegetarian food and delicious cakes – they seem to like their cakes).

The exhibition will run until November 9th.

www.inkwellarts.org.uk

Twitter: @ShoulderStories

Call: 0113 301 0108

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Wellbeing Web workshop at Inkwell next Tuesday

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Social Media surgeries have been getting very popular in the last couple of years, as places where people who have some information and knowledge about social media give their time to help people who want to learn. For people involved in mental health, either as workers or people with direct experience, there’s now a free regular social media surgery every second Tuesday of the month at Inkwell Community Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, 3.30 to 5 p.m. And next Tuesday Leeds Wellbeing Web will be running a workshop there!

I first went to a social media surgery about a year ago, knowing virtually nothing about blogging, tweeting etc. but wanting to learn because of a growing interest in Leeds Wellbeing Web. It was actually a really nice experience. An experienced blogger took me aside and worked with me one to one for about an hour, answering my naive questions, and generally being extremely kind and patient. The surgery next Tuesday at the Inkwell is being run by Leeds Mind and Leeds and York Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, and their blurb says ‘our surgeries are a safe space to learn about how to use the web and social media to communicate, campaign or collaborate. It is relaxed and informal, offering a friendly helping hand and no jargon’. Whatever you want to learn about – WordPress, Facebook, Twitter, or any of the millions of other things out there, chances are someone will be able to help you work it out, or at least point you in the right direction. If you want to know more about the event as a whole go to:
http://www.leedsandyorkpft.nhs.uk/_documentbank/2248_Social_media_leaflet_JAN_13_2.pdf

Tuesday would also be a great time to come along and meet members of Leeds Wellbeing Web (see above planning what we’ll be doing on Tuesday). We are cheerful amateurs, learning all the time about this, but we do jointly have a vision for a living online space where people with experience of mental health issues (as we all are) can talk to each other about what it is about this city that helps us to survive. We’ll be there from 3.30 to 5 to talk about how we came to set the Wellbeing Web up, what we’ve been doing, and what we plan to do next. You can sign up for the workshop at:
http://www.eventbrite.com/event/5948715769

If you want to know more, or want to volunteer as a ‘surgeon’, contact Sarah on 0113 3055989 or e-mail communications.lypft@nhs.net

DSC00234I was tired after watching Christian and Vicky work so hard

The Present, a short film about a woman’s emotional journey to work.

Last year I took part in a film making project with the community group ‘Arts and Minds of Leeds.  A few of us, who were new to film-making were involved in this creative project which culminated in our short films being shown as part of last years Love Arts festival and The Leeds Film Festival – Film to Change event.

My film had a theme of emotional well-being and is about a woman who is struggling to manage stress and unhelpful patterns of thinking – which is causing her to be unhappy. However she manages to find some respite from this,   watch and you shall find out….

THE PRESENT 

The Present she unwraps is actually a gift which allows her to become more aware of  The Present moment.  We can worry about the future, ruminate about the past and dwell upon problems to the extent that it interferes with our quality of life and decreases our sense of well-being. This kind of thinking can be all-consuming and leave little space for anything else,  which may leave us feeling depleted and stressed. Research has shown that purposefully paying attention to the present moment is a technique which can help to manage this. Once the woman in the film has opened the present – she is then able to appreciate the beautiful roses on her desk that she previously hadn’t noticed.

It’s not always easy to change the way we think or to manage difficult emotions but there are techniques which can help. I had recently attended a Mindfulness Meditation Course which was the inspiration behind the film.

Sophie MacWhannell is the actress who played the woman in the film.  She is Leeds-based, very talented, passionate and extremely supportive.  I am going to plug Sophie because she was so fantastic !  Not only has she acted in various plays and short films but she also performs as part of a comedy improvisation group called Monkeyheads AND is part of *Urban Sprawl.  She recently performed with Urban Sprawl in the play;  ‘Wrecked’ which was also part of the Love Arts Leeds festival. So if you need a talented and dedicated actress – look Sophie up!

Thanks also to Carl Allport, who was the course tutor and teaches at Leeds Metropolitan University, to Arts and Minds and also to Inkwell.   Also thanks to everyone else who took part whose names are in the credits, it was very collaborative and nice to work in a great team.

Hope you enjoyed it, would love any feedback, thanks Vicky 🙂

Also If you are interested in taking part in the making of a film contact Arts and Minds.

*Urban Sprawl is Yorkshire’s only homeless theatre company. Formed in August 2004, we are committed towards using theatre as an arts engagement tool to help people affected by homelessness and related issues.Urban Sprawl meet every Monday at Multiple Choice 5-8 pm.If your interested in finding out more email us at urb@urbansprawl.org.uk