Turning to art for light relief

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

WITH Covid-19 still most prevalent, and people finding themselves with much more time on their hands, many are turning to art as a means of some light relief.

And this is brilliant news for local artist Ceri McKervill, who has a lot of her works of art on display, and for sale, at Midtown Makers Studio and Shop in Church Street, Ballymena.

Ceri, a former art teacher at Cullybackey High (now College), believes everyone is an artist.

In her website - braveartmatters.co.uk - Ceri makes that clear.

She states - ‘I am an artist. So are you. We share an ability to communicate beyond words. It can be helpful to ground any exchange of thoughts or feelings in material things. We can see and feel and change what moves us.’

Ballymena woman Ceri is very proud to be one of the crafters at Midtown Makers.

“The Ballymena area has many creative people based at this hub,” she told the Guardian.

“And in these difficult times of Covid people are turning to art as relief from the stresses and problems of the day.”

Ceri invites people of the area to call in at Midtown Makers - Covid regulations apply - and see for themselves the top quality art and crafts on show.

“It is the perfect place to pick up Christmas gifts,” outlined Ceri.

“Of course anyone can buy on-line but I believe there is nothing more satisfying than to view the items first hand, and talk with the stall/shop owner or the Midtown Maker manager Jim Stevenson.”

BC - Before Covid - the large workshop within the Midtown Makers premises would have been heaving with budding artists.

Art therapist Ceri took regular sessions there, and admits she cannot wait to get back to catering for full-houses again.

All age groups were catered for.

Sooner, rather than later, it is hoped the busy, exciting, entertaining, fun-loving art get-togethers will resume.

Ceri is holding zoom therapy and art classes.

Numbers for her art Zoom classes are on the increase.

“I think people are looking for an outlet, something to take their mind off the gloom and doom around them,” said Ceri.

Her website asks the following - ‘Has life dealt you a blow that left your rational thinking mind at a loss? You probably find explanations inadequate. At such times words cannot help. Emotions are not logical or reasonable. Art materials offer you alternative ways to think about life – ways in which you can face previously unthinkable things and find new ways to cope with them.’

Ceri points out that ‘personal and intuitive art is a unique and very personal way to communicate,’ and that the exchange through art materials is unique to the person who made the marks and movements.

“However this is where I can help,” suggested Ceri. “I don’t decipher or analyse your work but instead hold a space for you to explore life issues through your hands and the materials. I believe the power to deal with your concerns is held in your hands and I offer additional helping ones - filled with art materials.

Ceri explained that art therapy provides a safe space to exploreemotional issues using the language of art media.

“If you play mindfully and honestly the materials will provide a language that is yours alone. Only you will know the truth of your expression,” she said.

When you join Ceri for a one-to-one therapeutic art session the relationship becomes a three-way process - you, the art materials and her.

There are a number of classes available. Contact Jim Stevenson at Midtown Makers for further details.

Ceri says art is therapeutic for her too, allowing her to do something for herself.

And she spoke of the pleasure of watching her first piece of art work being looked at, liked and bought in Midtown Makers.

“I was absolutely delighted my art had found an appreciative home,” she concluded.

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