Art wellbeing project

To address the greater need for social interaction and community connection following the hardest initial months of the Covid pandemic we created the Pantry Art Project.

Art workshops, recipe-sharing sessions and interactions with our food relief recipients and Addi Road Food Pantry customers were led by artists Gail Kenning and Sue Pedley, who we provide studio space to here at Addi Road.

Participants used art and conversation to share their ‘food journeys’ and explore the relationships between food, culture, family, health, wellbeing and community. An art book of the project was published in 2021 and shared with participants.

Creativity and food

Creative engagement is important for wellbeing. When people engage in creative activities they can feel a sense of connection with others because of the shared experience. They can feel connected to self, recognising their own preferences, likes and aesthetics. They can feel connected to the act of making, enjoying the movement of the hands, touch of materials, the joy of working with colours and textures. This is the same creativity people take to their cooking. For the Pantry Art Project, people were invited to draw, collage and paint, write recipes, share stories and tell us about their relationship with food.

The journey of food

What the journey of food and people to and from Addi Road showed us was the power of people coming together, people’s capacity for empathy, the importance of maintaining hope, and helping others find hope when times are hard. We saw the joy of creative activity and the joy of sharing, and the power these can have.