2018 archive

Changing Spaces, making care homes creative places

Press release, October 29th 2018

Changing Spaces

Isle of Wight Charity Independent Arts has received funding from The Dunhill Medical Trust to launch an ambitious two-year project, Changing Spaces, to make care homes a hub for creativity and the arts.

The funding will allow care homes to receive staff training and arts provision to help boost confidence and understanding of the importance of the arts for quality of life, health and wellbeing. In turn these improvements will translate to a better working environment for care staff, a better home for residents and improvements in CQC (Care Quality Commission) reports. The project will be evaluated by a team from Winchester University.

Morning workshops will encourage conversation and sharing, using interesting items from the Museums’ Heritage Loans Service, sound archive, footage, songs, poetry and stories. Afternoons will follow on with a range of arts-based workshops designed to complement the conversation points from the morning. These will include a practical art activity and music or film.

Hannah Griffiths, Project Manager, said:

“We are very grateful to the Dunhill Medical Trust for their support. Changing Spaces is a unique opportunity for residents and staff to learn about the history of the Isle of Wight together, building relationships along the way and providing a creative space to discuss what they have learned.”

Independent Arts is a thriving Island charity that involves 1800 people every month in arts for wellbeing projects. To learn more, get involved or support the charity, please explore the website. For further information about this project please get in touch.



Independent Arts heads to Westminster

Press release, October 2018

Isle of Wight charity Independent Arts was invited to give evidence to parliament on October 10th on the impact of arts and culture on older people involved in their Arts Council funded project Time & Tide. This was an exciting chance to be an influence policy at the highest level.

Project Manager Hannah Griffiths gave a presentation to the room full of MPs and sector peers about how access to the arts can improve wellbeing and reduce loneliness.

Time & Tide’s focus is to unlock creativity in older people on the island by inviting them to dive into the island's arts and heritage and then trying their hand at everything from watercolours to photography to large-scale sculpture.

Hannah said: 

"It was an honour to be invited to speak at the House of Commons on our most recent project Time & Tide. I was able to talk about the huge impact on the lives of our artists. It was important to emphasis that learning new skills has a massive impact on the confidence and wellbeing of the people involved as well as helping to form friendships and reducing loneliness. It was a chance to bring real people to the debate. One delegate commented she would have liked to have been involved in a project as wide ranging and exciting as Time & Tide."

The meeting was held by the all-parliamentary committees (APPGs) for Ageing and Older People; and Arts, Health and Wellbeing.

The island's MP Bob Seely also addressed the meeting.

Independent Arts is a thriving island charity that involves 1800 people every month in arts for wellbeing projects. To learn more, get involved or support the charity, please explore our website and get in touch.


Celebrating Age Festival October 2018

Join Independent Arts for our special events during Celebrating Age week: Creative Café (October 1); Drama workshop (October 2); SingAbout Together: An afternoon at the musicals (October 3); Dance Workshop (October 4); Heritage & Arts Café in Seaview (October 5). All are free to attend. See details below.

Celebrating Age Oct 2018

Celebrating Age Oct 2018: IA Time & Tide Dance Workshop


Time & Tide Exhibition (Summer 2018)

Time & Tide Exhibition

Visit Independent Arts' Time & Tide exhibition at The Learning Resources Centre of The Isle of Wight College. The exhibition runs from 23rd May to 9th August 2018 and you can find the opening times here. Sign in at the College reception.

See the results of our arts and heritage sessions so far. Working with eleven partner organisations who shared their resources (Newport Roman Villa, Dimbola Lodge, Dinosaur Isle, the Classic Boat Museum, Isle of Wight Museums Service, to name just a few), we aimed to inspire, encourage creativity and facilitate cultural engagement for older people people on the Isle of Wight.

For many, attending our Time & Tide workshops has been an absolute first. Some participants have used workshops as a stepping stone, reconnecting with the creative process, building skills and confidence. We have fledgling potters continuing to work independently, watercolourists looking to set up regular painting groups, eager researchers delving into the past and photographers investing in their own cameras and heading out for more field trips.

This exhibition is testament to the hard work and commitment of all those who have taken part so far. Time & Tide is funded by Arts Council England.

More workshops are planned, so there's still time to join in!

Join us for Time & Tide sessions at your local library (August and September 2018)

Time & Tide library sessions (June – August 2018)

Time & Tide library sessions



Time & Tide arts and heritage café (April to June 2018)

  • Heritage of Landscape: Learn about how Neolithic man shaped the Island and try your hand at working with clay.

  • The Bawdy Georgians: Tales of smugglers and derring do! Have a go at recreating watercolours of the IOW.

  • Poverty, Pomp and Prosperity: Taking a rich cross section of Victorian life and labour in the Island’s county town, these workshops will draw upon an intriguing collection of early 19th Century photographs from the Dore collection (Isle of Wight Heritage Services) together with some arresting documents from the Public Records Office. Offering a fascinating flavour of life, from the House of Industry, to the growth of civic pride and the bustling life of the high street.

See dates below:

Time & Tide library sessions

Time & Tide Arts and Heritage Café (January – February 2018)

Join us for our Time & Tide Arts and Heritage Cafés to explore a fabulous collection of original Roman artefacts and learn about the history of Newport's very own Roman Villa. You will have the chance to handle some beautiful objects and find out more about their history. Inspired by this trip back in time, you will have the opportunity to create your own work of art! Painting, pastels, printing, mosaics and more.

Time & Tide Romans


Independent Arts triptych collaboration unveiled

Press release, November 2017

On Friday 1st December 2017 Isle of Wight Leonard Cheshire Disability home, Appley Cliff in Shanklin, will unveil an artwork that celebrates diversity, personality and a passion for life.

It is the culmination of a joint project between Appley Cliff and Independent Arts that has been several months in the making.

Appley Cliff Activities Worker, Peter Harris, and Independent Arts Project Manager, Caroline Thorn, started their collaboration in October 2016 when Peter and the residents, fed up with the plain and neutral appearance of the residents’ dining room approached Independent Arts with a proposition to transform their dining space into a spectacular celebration of vibrant colour and contemporary design.

Talented local artist, and Independent Arts practitioner Leigh Jackman, was chosen to lead the creative process with her unique blend of textured effects and bold style.

Speaking about the project, Peter Harris said,

“The beauty of this process is that the residents have been immersed in the entire experience throughout; rather than having an artist do the work for us, Leigh has really captured a piece of each and every residents’ personality in the finished work.

“This is what makes this piece incredibly unique and truly inclusive.”

Independent Arts Project Manager Caroline Thorn said,

“It has been an absolute joy to work with all the staff and residents at Appley Cliff. This is the first time Independent Arts has undertaken such a large scale piece of work and hopefully not the last.

“Unearthing such creative talent among the residents is what really makes this project special and although this part of the project has now come to an end I see a very bright future full of more expression, more creativity and a lot more fun as our charity partnership with Leonard Cheshire Disability continues.”

The final three piece triptych design has now been completed and measuring 4ft high and 18ft long is a real testament to the hard work and dedication from all involved.

A celebratory party with a grand unveiling of the artwork took place at Appley Cliff, 8 Popham Road, Shanklin, Isle of Wight, PO37 6RG on Friday 1st December 2017.


Our supporters in 2018 included:

  • WightAid Foundation (Anxiety Café)
  • Robert McAlpine Foundation
  • The Derrill Allatt Foundation
  • Percy Bilton Charity (Soundbeam equipment)
  • Herapath Shenton Trust
  • The Big Lottery; Age Friendly Island (SingAbout)
  • D'Oyly Carte Charitable Trust (Singing for Breathing)
  • The Bakers Dozen (Anxiety Café)
  • The Lionel Wigram Charitable Trust
  • Garfield Weston Foundation
  • The ACT Foundation
  • The Dunhill Medical Trust
  • Older Voices

Jim Bodle

We were sad that Independent Arts' trustee Jim Bodle died in November 2018. Jim had volunteered his time as a trustee and director of the charity since 2011 and was a much-valued, knowledgeable member of our team – a "wise owl" as one trustee described him. Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival

 Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival 2018

Our photography-themed tree for the Brighstone Christmas Tree Festival remains on display at Brighstone Church (St Mary's) until after Christmas. Do take a peek!


Anxiety Café photographic exhibition

Anxiety Café photographic exhibition

The Quay Street Triangle is an exhibition of photographs looking at the area around Quay Street where Anxiety Café meets weekly. The exhibition is the culmination of a four-week project led by Independent Arts’ practitioner Mark LLoyd, starting with basic camera skills and looking at colour, form and texture.

The photographers were instructed to look at their surroundings in a new way, to capture the streets from a different angle.

Anxiety Café looks at ways of helping anxiety through creativity. Project Manager and participant Hannah Griffiths said:

“The photography project has been a joy. We’ve loved learning and practising new skills in the safe environment that the group provides. Seeing the work up for members of the public to appreciate is a great boost for the confidence and self-esteem of our group. Hopefully this will help people see that there is more to us than our anxiety."

The exhibition can be viewed at the Lord Louis Library in Newport until 30th November.`

Exhibition opening times:
Mon, Tues, Weds and Fri 9.00am–5.30pm
Thurs: 11.00am–7.00pm
Sat: 9.00am–5.00pm

Anxiety Café meets weekly at Quay Street Methodist Church Hall. For more information about the group, please contact us

Anxiety Café photographic exhibition

Primary pupils and care home residents learn together!

Schoolroom in a Care Home

Our project brings a schoolroom into a care home. Read about it here.

WightAid supports Anxiety Café

Thanks to WightAid for donating £1000 towards Independent Arts' Anxiety Café. Here is WightAid's Steve Porter presenting the cheque to Independent Arts' project manager Hannah Griffiths.

WightAid cheque


Thank you Co-op shoppers!

Co-op shoppers raised a whopping £1402.87 for Independent Arts' weekly Creative Café project in 2017 through the the Co-op's community fund. Thank you for choosing to support Independent Arts!

Coop Community Fund cheque presentation


Thanks to The Wight Proms for making us their associated charity