The current exhibition at Worcester Arts Workshop by visual artist Phoenix Nova, displays work inspired by Phoenix’s involvement in WAW’s Open Space Wellbeing Studio.

Open Space Wellbeing Studio is a weekly session run by Art Therapist Claire Hilton. It offers a supportive creative space for individuals who have a mental health diagnosis from the community, supported living environments or those who are marginalised and isolated or suffering from depression or anxiety. The weekly workshop is free of charge for participants thanks to National Lottery Awards For All Funding.

Claire, who facilitates the group every Tuesday was thrilled whilst visiting Phoenix’s exhibition, to recognise the origins of the work from the Open Space sessions.  

“I was really moved when I realised that Phoenix’s latest work started life as abstract string ink prints in the wellbeing studio. During the Open Space sessions I come up with a starting point for people and they go on their own creative paths from there. We began by experimenting with abstract symmetrical shapes created with string and ink, as it’s an inclusive technique that can produce surprisingly pleasing images.

It’s wonderful to see how Phoenix’s work has evolved into the body of work we can see on display at Worcester Arts Workshop. They look great and I’m so proud of the amazing work that has evolved from our group.”

WAW is proud to host Phoenix’s exhibition in celebration of LGBT+ History Month. Phoenix’s work revolves around identity – particularly that of themselves. They identify as Trans Non-Binary, and use They/Them pronouns. 

When asked about the impact Open Space had on them and their practice Phoenix Nova said, “Being involved in Open Space Wellbeing Studio has given me a chance to work with others again and gain my confidence back. I have used the sessions to begin my work again, the results of which are seen in my exhibition at Worcester Arts Workshop.

Claire has been wonderful with her starting points and they have always inspired me. Many of the ideas from the Open Space Wellbeing Studio have become new works that I have continued outside of the sessions.”

Phoenix Nova’s Exhibition, Reflections, runs at WAW until Sunday 1 March during WAW opening hours. Entry to the Exhibition is free and the works on display are available to purchase.