Art Proves Just The Tonic For Wellbeing

2 June 2011

Rebecca Dugdale

Art work by Rebecca Dugdale.

Rachael Lilley

Art work by Rachael Lilley.

Hannah Brewer

Art work by Hannah Brewer.

The power of the arts to help empower people to health and wellbeing is the focus of a student exhibition in Derby this week.

The Mayor and Mayoress of Derby, Councillor Les Allen and Mrs Ruth Allen will be the special guests at the University of Derby's 'Statement of Image' exhibition tomorrow night.

The event, at the University's Britannia Mill site, in Mackworth Road, is the final year show for the BA (Hons) Creative Expressive Therapies course. The event forms part of the University's annual Degree Shows, promoting the cream of creativity from final year students in a wide range of subjects, with events taking place at the Britannia Mill and Markeaton Street sites over the next week.

Students on the Creative Expressive Therapies course specialise in art, drama, music or dance as specialist subject 'pathways', with many taking the skills they learn out into the community or to help people in therapeutic practice in a variety of sectors including health and education.

One of the students who will be exhibiting her work as part of the Statement of Image event is Rebecca Dugdale who is also celebrating after securing work as a residential worker at the Lodge Trust in Market Overton, Leicestershire, to support adults with learning difficulties.

Rebecca, 21, from Braintree in Essex, has used glass in her final exhibit for her degree course. She has created four pieces of art using 40cm by 60cm panels of glass which have been used to portray the fragility of thought in relation to her sense of self.

Rebecca said: "I like how glass is generally thought to expose things due to its transparency and how it can be used to hide as well.

"For example, one piece is a window into my thoughts about the worries I hold and the restrictions I place on myself. The second piece is how one worry, thought or comment when added to others causes my outlook to become distorted. Problems and worries are blown out of all proportion which is shown by the magnification of the clear on clear glass."

Fellow student, Hannah Brewer, 23, from Ipplepen, near Newton Abbott, has hopes of getting involved in community art projects when she completes her degree.

She focused on the theme Mother-Daughter, asking a number of women to describe their relationship with their mother or daughter. These formed the inspiration for her oil paintings on canvas centred on themes of nature and flowers.

She said: "This was inspired by Mother Nature and the process of cycles within the relationship and how characteristics are passed through generations of mothers and daughters, for example, in the way seeds are planted back into the ground."

Another student Rachael Lilley, 22, from Bristol, took inspiration for her illustrations and photographs exploring her imagination for her final artwork from a week-long walk along a coastal path from Minehead to Georgham.

She said: "I walked for long periods of time without seeing anyone, the silence, the surroundings and the thrills of the danger and the often risky situations. I felt that walking long distances alone stretched my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual state and I love facing the challenges."

There is a private view of the work at Britannia Mill on Friday, 3 June from 6-9pm, where there will be music and a live performance from final year students on the course as well as the art exhibition.

On Saturday, 4 June, the public view opens there at Markeaton Street, from 10am-4pm weekdays and 11am to 3pm on Saturdays, finishing onSaturday 11 June. A shuttle bus from Kedleston Road is also available.

For further information about the 2011 University of Derby Degree Shows - this year entitled Synthesis - see

The University of Derby is proud to be part of Universities UK-led Universities Week, which is running from 13-19 June 2011. It will be getting involved with national activities highlighting the surprising links and relationships that universities have with the people and businesses in their local communities, of which this story is just one example.

For more information contact Deputy Head of Corporate Relations Simon Redfern on 01332 591942 or 07748 920038 or email

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