With generous support from the GMCA, SPACE visited all 10 regions of Greater Manchester.
SPACE is curated and hosted by mental health practitioner Steph Walker (the Founder & Lead Practitioner of Take Care – Eco Wellbeing). Steph employs a comprehensive, integrated approach to health and wellbeing. Steph’s practice is holistic, relaxed, open, flexible and friendly.
One in four people experience difficulties affecting their mental health at some point in their lives.
The stigma surrounding mental health can be damaging and isolating.
In response, SPACE is intended as a celebration. Curated and hosted by mental health practitioner, Steph Walker (in partnership with Art with Heart and with generous support from GMCA), SPACE is a nurturing neutral space – a space that is shaped by the people that occupy it. SPACE was born out of a desire to support and safeguard audience members attending Declaration, Art with Heart’s award-winning one-woman show, which explored Sarah Emmott’s experience of seeking diagnosis for adult ADHD.
It is a space full of autonomy; a space for anyone, everyone, to simply be in. A space where people can come as they are and leave when they like and can engage or not with any elements they choose. It is somewhere people can take time to take care of themselves.
Between 2015 and 2019, SPACE mobile wellbeing toured to diverse settings across the UK: appearing in theatre dressing rooms; the corners of bars, cafes, libraries, town halls; on a patch of grass in a supported housing complex; on a nature reserve; in Santa’s Grotto.
THEATRE VENUES UP AND DOWN THE UK (2015-2017)
SPACE travelled the country from London to Barnard Castle, Hartlepool to Saltburn-on-Sea, offering a grounding and engaging space for post-theatre audiences alongside Art with Heart’s Declaration…
Inviting a welcome breathing space: a place to settle, to talk (with me & with each other), to interact with installations or simply to relax, listen to music & have a cup of tea; SPACE eased the transition between the heightened emotion of the show and re-entering the outside world – as well as providing a supportive refuge for anyone who needed it during the performance.
The response was unprecedented, with large numbers of the audience spending over an hour in SPACE – unwinding, connecting, creating, growing and taking time together. Across two tours of Declaration 1,528 people made use of SPACE.
“In five years of thinking about the post-show offer to audiences, SPACE well-being room is among the best I’ve encountered: a model of practical generosity.” – Maddy Costa, writer for Exeunt Magazine & The Guardian
Everywhere we travelled, audience members fed back that SPACE was just what they needed and asked if they could have more of it. It is the sort of place I didn’t realise I needed until I got here.”
So, in 2017, SPACE transitioned and expanded…
ON THE ROAD IN GREATER MANCHESTER (2017-2019)
In 2017, SPACE left its familiar home in the theatre and ventured out into new spaces, new buildings, to engage with new people in a wide range of settings (funded by GMCA).
Over the next 2 years we made over 20 outings, visiting each of the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester: spending quality time with over 700 residents and working to inspire awareness, growth and connection within wellbeing and self care.
However, with the onset of COVID-19 early in 2020, SPACE found itself unexpectedly packed up into suitcases, gathering dust…
which led to……
Which leads us here: a small space online where we can share a little of what SPACE is about with you. We hope you enjoy taking a look around the site…
Click to read more about Steph Walker (Take Care) and Art With Heart
Art with Heart is an award-winning Salford based arts company that designs and delivers performances, workshops and people-led creative projects for community groups, arts organisations and schools across the UK. Working across a number of artforms including plays, podcasts, workshops, films and exhibitions, Art with Heart work with people on their terms to collaborate, create and make tangible social action, together.
Take Care is an Eco Wellbeing initiative that nourishes personal growth and wellness through deepened connection (or reconnection) to nature. Take Care focusses on our relationship with ourselves, with others and with the earth, to encourage positive awareness, reflection and growth via carefully curated installations and happenings; raising environmental awareness and eco-consciousness, whilst nurturing and empowering the individual. Take Care aspires to cultivate a deeper lived experience and understanding of the interconnectivity between taking care of ourselves, taking care of each other and taking care of the planet.