What does Arts & Health Gippsland do?
Arts & Health Gippsland seeks out opportunities to increase the community’s health and wellbeing, through the various mediums of the visual arts.
We offer art-making sessions:
- one-on-one art tuition and art therapy
- small group sessions of art tuition and discussion
- sessions in series exploring a goal or theme
Arts & Health Gippsland can be contracted to consult on various arts practices and processes that might enhance the community’s health and wellbeing, in a range of scenarios.
What does Art have to do with Health?
Art making produces an “artwork”, but this is not the only thing it creates. Psychology research shows that when making art, your brain experiences two things that stimulate thriving. Firstly, you feel a challenge, when using a different medium in a different way to make a thing. Secondly, you experience aesthetic pleasure, where your five senses perceive a tactile reward from the immersive encounter.
If this is combined with a social connection (where you create with another person doing their own art making), there is an opportunity for great pleasure reward, and this promotes health. This is through a number of pathways:
- pleasure releases endorphins which have a pain killing effect;
- the combination of brain-challenge and aesthetic pleasure create a ‘flow’ state, where time loses meaning (which can aid in decreasing need for addictive substances like nicotine);
- the combination of body and brain in a tactile activity creates increased dexterity, it maintains body flexibility (in the body areas used for the art-making), and it increases eye-hand coordination and cross-brain stimulation; and
- the satisfaction following completion of an artwork increases self-confidence, which in turn can lift mood.