Creative Challenge Update – Session 1

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Creative Challenge is a project set up by Making Minds, acommunity organisation that promotes the role of art and creativity in mentalhealth.

Creative Challenge is based on the delivery of creative workshops and is fundedby Time to Change Wales. The project is aiming to use different forms of artand creativity to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination. The sessionstake place at New Horizons – a mental health charity that is based in Aberdare– every Monday. The first session was this week, Monday 12th May and thesessions run until 21st July (expect the bank holiday on May 26th).Three creative professionals will each run three sessions,starting with the acclaimed poet Mab Jones, before Natasha James of BreakingBarriers comes in to deliver digital storytelling workshops, finishing withthree weeks of visual art with Rhiannon Gray.

Wicid will be at each session, taking part in the challenge and reporting onwhat went on.

The first session of Creative Challenge saw 10 peopleinvolved. Mab Jones, who was running the session, introduced herself first andonce all the introductions of the group were over with, the creative sessionbegan.

Nobody really knew each other well in the group, so Mabmanaged to jolt the awkwardness of the group away by reading some of her poetrywhich was hilarious yet emotional, based on events that had happened in herlife. Then, she gave the group word-play activities, such as writing their ownpoem (in groups of two) inspired by set feelings, emotions and objects based on Roger McGough’s famous In Two Minds poem, which then led into the whole group workingtogether to produce their own McGough-esque piece of poetry.

After this activity, the creative flow of the group becamemore prominent. Mab then showed the group a piece of hip-hop by an artistcalled ‘Lowkey’, in which he manages to spit rhymes all in alliteration form,the lyrics running down from stanzas all based in A all the way down to Z.Here’s an example of the lyricism in this particular piece of work:


Batter babbling battler with a bag of batteries

Ban these bias blaggers because they’re badly backwards b

Batty bible bashers get badded Basra to Brackenbury

Baffle backpackers with bars bad as a big of b


Meanwhile my motives to motivate and mobilise my monster men

My missions to minimise misdemeanours

Mere monuments of these midgets make me milli for minutes

I may be a mad Mongrel and a manic Mesopotamian maniac

After listening to Lowkey, Mab asked the group to worktogether in forming alliteration stanzas. This was done by the group coming upwith emotions such as sadness, happiness, pride, love, hate. These emotionswere then turned into stimuli for writing poetry based on Lowkey’s lyricism.The group had 5 seconds to write an alliteration line on each subject, with thepapers titled ‘Sad’, ‘Happy’, ‘Pride’, ‘Love’ and ‘Hate’ being passed to theperson to the right after the seconds were up.

The whole session was a success and everyone involved left,feeling inspired and aware of the creativity that lay within. It waseye-opening, to see how poetry can lead to a group of strangers bonding throughthe words, rhythm, rhymes and emotions.

Next week’s session will involve writing song-lyrics, inspired byMab Jones’ creative stimuli and poetic touch. Stay tuned.

Image: makingminds

Related Article: Creative Challenge: Express Your Creativity

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