From Spray Cans to Wellness Plans: St'Art Up Inspires D&A Students
There is growing evidence that engaging in creative activities can have a positive impact on mental health. Creativity has been shown to reduce stress, anxiety, and depression, and can provide a sense of purpose and accomplishment.
Artistic expression through mediums like painting, drawing and street art, can also serve as a form of therapy and self-care. For young adults, particularly those who may be experiencing social exclusion or isolation, creative projects like St'Art can be particularly beneficial, providing an outlet for self-expression, collaboration, and skill building.
Throughout the St'Art project, D&A students were able to channel their creativity into a meaningful and impactful work of art that promotes mental health awareness and encourages resilience and enterprise.
The project's guiding principle, "to foster inclusive resilience and enterprise through creativity," was at the heart of the project to empower our young adults from diverse backgrounds by providing a platform for self-expression through the medium of street art.
Creative minds and innovative ideas
The group of 12 talented and enthusiastic students took part in the week-long St'Art project to combat social exclusion and isolation by using the power of graffiti and street art. The students got together to brainstorm ideas for their mural art piece, and after careful consideration, they decided to focus on the theme of mental health and nature. This theme resonated with the students as they understood the importance of mental health awareness and the therapeutic effects of being in nature.
Throughout the week-long project, D&A students participated in a variety of activities aimed at developing their skills and knowledge in street art. They took tours around Dundee to learn about the fundamental requirements of street art, including the legal aspects of creating graffiti in the city. These tours sparked conversations about what made an impact on them and why, providing inspiration for their own mural project.
Using the College site as a canvas, the learners worked together to discuss materials, design, and form, generating ideas around sustainability, positive wellbeing, and affirmations. As they developed their concepts, the students explored different techniques and shared best practices with each other and with experts in the field, honing their skills and refining their vision for the final artwork.
The end result is a breath taking mural that captures the essence of the theme and the students’ unique perspectives which promotes mental health awareness and the transformative power of nature. The mural was installed at Gardyne campus, where it will be seen and admired by students, staff, and visitors alike.
The Graffiti Project has been a great way to include (students) participants who have no or little previous experience with street art or indeed wider art and design. The project has been very inclusive at all stages from initial ideas through to the final mural. Although the centre piece was created by a professional street artist everyone contributed to the final artwork by making stencils and these were included in the final piece and painted by the participants. Everyone involved got a real buzz making their stencils and seeing them on the Wall, Ian Ritchie lecturer in art and design.
Lecturer Art and Design