Shared Visual Experiences and Thinking Through Art is the abbreviation for SVETTA Art Club for NHS staff working at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust.

Today (31st March 2021) is the last day of the project and I am uploading my artist’s response to the social media channels. It was a fascinating experience mixed with enormous efforts and challenges.

Below is my artist’s response to the virtual art residency at the mental health hospitals across the trust. There were twelve unforgettable and extremely demanding weeks with experiences in art processes, delivery of art workshops via virtual reality, organising online show and Private View, when the  internet connection dropped in the middle of my presentation. Twelve inspiring videos were created within twelve weeks. All changes to initial proposal had positive outcomes. The physical exhibition is postponed due to restrictions of the COVID19 pandemic.

I have explored possibilities of incorporating animation into my art practice. My artist’s response include a few studies of different techniques.

Participants of the SVETTA Art Club created over 120 artworks, the club is growing and will exist beyond the SVETTA project. It was recognised by the Trust’s Leadership and members of the board have joined the group.


Artist’s Response includes:

  1. three minutes animation

2. Compilation of nine artworks


The Art Club outcome are

  1. SVETTA project online show with more than 120 artworks

2. The PV video

3. The Art Club for CPFT staff will continue beyond the project.




1 Comment

The set of following workshops was created in line with participants’ commentaries where some asked for tips on drawing faces and materials possible to use for portraits. The outcome was unpredictable, many did their self-portraits immersing into creative exploration of different techniques. The Art Club chat is populated with new artworks, from peer-to-peer suggestions on paints to showers of complements.

The word-of-mouth is spreading, more participants are joining every week. Here few commentaries from the project interim evaluation. The data protection within the trust does not allow to display participants’ names. 

C: This is the first time I have ventured into art and artistic expression. I’m enjoying immensely exploring and experimenting with art materials and styles. The videos, descriptions, and guidance are fascinating and inspiring.

I’ve also discovered that art is very practical which is a delight. At work, I’ve become interested in how creativity can help shape strategy development, team effectiveness, personal development, and other aspects of corporate life. My experiments with art at work include using drawing and mindfulness to talk about wellbeing, storytelling, and metaphor to understand challenges from new perspectives and using poems to explore listening/team working. I’m intrigued by the ripples from Art Club and how they appear unexpectedly in my work and personal life. For example, because of Art Club, I’ve become very curious about how art and creativity can illuminate our lives. I volunteered to take part in research at Edinburgh University about how writing poetry can help people communicated about their health. I’m new to art and new to poetry, but because of Art Club, I’m discovering them, and enjoy using art to experess/add to the poems I create. Art Club has taught me that its ok not to an expert, it’s the process and the experience that matters and where change/something new can emerge.

Below is the list with four links to remaining videos.

Universe and Art 

Trees and Art

Art and The Favourite Story


Shared Visual Experiences and Thinking Through Art is the abbreviation for SVETTA Art Club for NHS staff working at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust.

I have developed a new understanding of how creativity works for me. First of all, it connects to the process within the project structure. The discipline helped to follow the routine and to avoid unnecessary overthinking of the task.

My artist’s response to the intense creative environment with the delivery of an inspirational video every week started to shift towards the video animation. I found the rhythmic coordination between the intensity of the project and the fast speed of the video animation. I was told by one of the project mentors that the artist’s response will come naturally after immersing in the project for few weeks. It happened after a few disappointing attempts in creating a static artwork.

The colorful environment of participants’ artworks replaced the missing in-person and physical connection with the group. Online atmosphere left in memory the bright light of the presenting room, computer screen with many faces, and distant working tables. These elements are part of the strange COVID19 times when physical experiences of the art workshop environment replaced by reconstructed images of guessing spaces by our minds. Existed excitement of immersed creative process lasts only an hour.  From my side, it includes attributes of my room and missing physical touch of participants’ artworks. I mean that there are no real work dimensions, no real shapes, forms, colors, or textures. We are ‘creatively guessing’ all the time, and this is what makes the brain tired during all virtual collaborations. When I hit the button ‘End meeting for all’ the TOO SILENT SILENCE  surrounds again every object and corner of the studio.

On the side of participants who wait for my instructions exists uncertainty whether they understand what this art workshop is about. However, I found that missing guidance sometimes brings new creative ideas and participants explore their skills and ideas independently away from the teacher’s eyes.

The connection with animation came from endless possibilities which can be explored during the stop motion processes similar to open options that lie in front of participants in online workshops. The fluid movement of animation absorbs the viewer and offers a few readings of screen moovements similar to a free reading of my distant instructions. This is what makes me excited about the idea of temporality of a moving screen. Even if there is an option to play the animation again it is somehow slipping all the time from the screen by providing addiction up to a certain point. The philosopher Ricciotto Canudo said that “Velocity possesses the potential for a great series of combinations, of interlocking activities, combining to create a spectacle that is a series of visions and images tied together in vibrant agglomeration, similar to a living organism.”

Here a few images from studies for animation.


Shared Visual Experiences and Thinking Through Art is abbreviation for SVETTA Art Club for NHS staff working at Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Foundation Trust

Rushing along the project timeline keeps creative thinking at the sharp edge. Days are full of sketches, mind maps, and recordings. I found that it is a challenge to step aside and think about the artist’s response.
For the sake of order, I have started to analyze planning stages in graphical visuals. My feelings, emotions and happenings are embedded into the project and found its way to graphic representation of a creative routine. Lines and curves show the mood and the project development. It is a stage of my artist response that connected to relationship between human and nonhuman sphere.

Deconstructing processes that are important for producing an inspirational video helped me to enter a rhythmic exercise in delivering ideas. Every day of the week has the same structure connected to the process and the outcome, walking in the park, listening to birds singing, washing plates, touching plants, pealing fruits, the sound of soft pastel on paper, all small details of routine started connecting into the story. I found that access to the creative zone lies inside the process.
Starting from the planning, going through the development of ideas, and facing ‘infinitive possibilities’ in presenting educational materials for the next week’s topic. Let say, that facing the pale of hundred objects, doesn’t help in choosing 3 for presenting a process.

I have attached a few graphic artworks from the stage of thinking in planning terms.


SVETTA ART CLUB project is supported by Arts Council England, National Lottery Fund, and CPFT.
Free 12 Art Workshops are designed to provide absorbing and engaging time for all staff including clinical and corporate staff, staff working on the wards and in the community, and staff who are working from home.

The community of the online SVETTA Art Club is growing. Every week new participants joining and the Teams chat became a supportive space.
Each one finds new ways for artistic expression. The overall response is that art satisfies, art processes are relaxing and absorbing.
There is also an understanding of how beneficial are virtual art workshops, as we go, we found that it is both communal and individual. When we share artworks at the end of the session, the support from the group removes doubts and opens new opportunities for ideas and experiments. Now, the Art Club chat is populated with supportive messages, links to art films, and more importantly, with different artworks. The openness of each participant brings unity and positive discussions. It is subjective but shared. The new culture of ‘restorative bubble’ is spreading among teams, there is togetherness in overcoming the daily pressure of harsh NHS environment during COVID times. Positive commentaries across the trust bring new people to the club, who start creating with doubled energy once they understand that the art process is more valuable than the outcome.

The new formed focus group for discussion of each video is also a refuge space for professional artists who can participate in a project and develop their own approach to the new virtual reality for mixed group workshops. It is challenging to design the art program suitable for diverse group including beginners, advanced, doctors, nurses and careers. The additional challenges come from being separated and have limited access to the art materials and facilities. The latter largely  influence the possible  art techniques.

Thank you  the focus group participants: Aya Hastwell, Sally Stenton, Sandy Layton, Sarah Strachan, Sarah Praill, Ewa Pandera, Anna Dermitzaki, Samuel Thompson-Plant, Michael Owens.

Below are artworks for posters created to celebrate the art theme, and to provide a hint for safe and friendly online environment.

The artworks for each poster are created to celebrate the art theme, and to provide a hint for safe and friendly online environment.

Links to  workshops:

Clay and Objects

Motivation and Art

Art of Noticing

Wardrobe and Colours

Type and Art