Stories of change

The Artery is our passion project, developing from an idea to a reality. We are offering:

  • Peer2Peer support networks
  • Training to early career professionals in Craven and Scarborough
  • Support to those with chronic health conditions to manage their conditions through arts interventions
  • Creating business models for cultural organisations.

The Peer2Peer support network is creating a community built on trust, support and ambition for business growth but also to support local communities. We invited the group to bring an object to the first and last sessions to help them to talk about their creative businesses.  Here are three stories that illustrate the impact of The Artery.

Juliet, Film maker

Object 1 First session of The Artery Peer2Peer Support Network

My object is a camera. It is a family camera that my dad had, a Minolta from the 80s. My parents really documented my whole childhood with it.

When I came home from uni, I unboxed this camera and I thought ‘What’s this’. It was all shiny and new and vintage and dad said go play with it, put a roll of film in it and see what happens…

This camera is really limited to what you can do. it’s point and shoot. It was about the framing, not the technical aspect of being a photographer. So the most important aspect was what I was capturing, not how I was capturing it.

I was taking photographs of all my friends, my family, Christmases and getting pictures back. It was whole new way of capturing pictures and storytelling.

Then I was asked to do a fashion job and I bought the camera with me. There were only about five 35mm photos and we all loved them. So, then I started working on film only. And it was a very human, archival, nostalgic type of storytelling. The nub and the gist of it is, that this is how I approach documentary and how I approach taking images. It’s all very personal and I guess very intimate. You are not there taking a digital image. You can’t see what it is and you are just trusting the interaction with the person. Listening to them telling their story.

Object 2 Final session
Light meter

My object is a light meter. The first object I brought [to the group] was the camera but I feel the light meter is more important. Before I take a photograph, I’m essentially taking stock of the light, and the person, and the situation. I feel largely what I’ve done since joining this group is checking the light and having a safe space to listen to others, to resonate and to explore all these problem-solving questions and answers.

Although we all do different things there’s so much similarity in running your own businesses. It is an incredibly exciting, terrifying adventure. At the beginning I was wondering what am I really going to achieve in this time? But it’s amazing. Even when you feel things are really quite dark, there is light. I feel there’s been progress and a lot of action progress.

Juliet’s story

Sarah, Marketing specialist

Object 1 First session of The Artery Peer2Peer Support Network
A walking boot

My object is a walking boot. I work best in business when I have the chance to go for a proper walk, up a hill, with the dog.

Most of my clients like outdoorsy stuff. They like wild swimming, go for walks and find ways to spend time in nature. Currently I don’t have time to go for a walk and I’m missing it. Bags under my eyes say I’m very close to burn out and the problem I have is I can’t say ‘no’ to people. I need help with that top level business plan, systems, invoicing. Is there a way to streamline what I do so I have time to enjoy what I do?

Object 2 Final session – Painting

My object is a painting. I did this with my daughter last week. We decided we were going to have some creative time. I decided I wanted something bright and this is quite representative of my mental state. So when the programme started, I was miserable. From a business point of view, I was overwhelmed and that was overflowing to life. Just being at home and not having done anything or been anywhere and just feeling l was in the fire rather than being able to find a way out of it. So this represents creativity coming back.

This painting is the larger scheme, representing work life balance. And this programme is what has helped to achieve that.

Lauren, Paper maker

Object 1 First session of The Artery Peer2Peer Support Network
Rolled pulp material; the raw ingredients for paper making

The pulp has had most of water removed. It’s left from my last batch and will go into my next batch. It’s cotton and abaca, dyed using walnut hulls. I wouldn’t have my business if I couldn’t get access to this.

I want to tell you about how sensory the work is. What I really fell in love with, just how therapeutic paper making is, working with raw materials, and stages of its fibre form.

I want my job to have a therapeutic element for myself.

I found throughout Covid season that it’s rescued me. It has been a place of comfort for me and a bonus that I can do it for work.

Have joy in what you do.

Object 2 Final session – A blank sheet of paper

I’ve got a nice, neat, metaphor for you. I find neat metaphors very pleasing. I’ve got the object I bought to the first session. The raw the pulp, the fibre I use to make the paper, the raw material if you like.

My object today is a formed sheet of paper. And the reason I chose that and also a nod to the first session is that I feel we have the raw material that we need and we also have other people and their raw materials. So the raw materials are all there and we are all capable of transforming into this a blank piece of paper.

Then to extend the metaphor.

I was thinking about how much potential a blank sheet of paper has. And my sheets go on to become other things. Creatives take them away and make beautiful art or create beautiful prints. Through these past weeks of meeting in this group, I feel I’ve changed and feel so much more aware if my potential and the potential of my business. I feel like I’m more aware of the raw materials I have available to me to make that transformation and that feels like a huge weight off my shoulders. I don’t see a huge fog in front of me. I feel I can see a path to that change and I think that’s what I’ve valued.

I’ve looked forward to every session. I come away from it feeling lighter every time and even though I haven’t come away with ‘this is the thing I must do and click my fingers’, I come away feeling like I know where to go and I know what to do. It’s a long journey and I have what it takes. And I have other people and resources I can draw upon.

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