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Tree Of Hope community sculpture in Exeter Cathedral.jpg
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Tree Of Hope
- a co-created community sculpture

Encouraging people to engage with the theme of moving on after set-backs, building hope in a way that is personally meaningful. 

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A focus for reflection
 

The Tree Of Hope encourages visitors to engage with the theme of 'hope' in a way that is tangible and meaningful, be that:

  • at a personal level – responding to loss due to Covid-19

  • at a community level – responding to insularity as a result of social distancing

  • at a planetary level – responding to global warming and sustainability issues

Co-creation process

Scension dance performance videos … 

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... inspired 'mark-making to music' with charity clients in Creative Wellbeing Workshops ...

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 … creating thousands of leaves ... 

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Tree Of Hope leaf from Anny in Belgium_e

… for messages of hope ...

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Tree Of Hope leaves created by clients of Headway Devon.jpg

… and sharing with other communities ...

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Tree Of Hope at University Of Exeter For
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Tree Of Hope is related to the integrated arts Resurgo and Scension creative projects

Outcomes and impacts - Tree Of Hope

  1. Facilitated 17 Creative Wellbeing Workshops (½ days) with clients of charities United Response in Paignton (4) and Honiton (4) as well as Headway Devon in Exeter (1) and Honiton (8).

  2. Client Gary described how the workshops gave him space without judgment and commented that: "I used to do art work before I had the stroke, you coming today has really brought things back. It has been really brilliant. I haven’t done a lot of things since my stroke and being able to just have a go, it’s just woken me up a little bit."

  3. Meg, one of the Headway Support Workers, explained how the workshops helped to bridge different parts of the community and reduce feelings of isolation, allowing clients to mix with different people outside of the groups they usually spend time with. Meg commented "I think a lot of clients lack confidence as they think they have a disability so they can’t, or have been told they can’t. With things like this, they’re surprised by what they can do."

  4. Several thousand leaves were co-created in a mark-making activities that built up connection and cooperation between participants.

  5. These leaves, that were decorated on one side, were then left in public spaces for others to write messages of hope. Sometimes we would make 500 leaves in a day and they would be all ‘used up’ by the public in just 3 days!

  6. Messages of hope cover a diverse range, from the deeply personal (health of a loved one) through to themes that affect the planet (global warming, litter, Covid)

  7. Many people found it utterly absorbing to read the messages of hope that had been left by others, spending a long time at the Tree Of Hope.

  8. I led 3 workshops in Exeter Cathedral with school children and facilitated conversation around the theme of the sculptures, encouraging pupils to share their thoughts rather than telling them what the ‘right’ answer was. Pupils also made leaves of hope and hung them on the tree.

  9. The Tree Of Hope keeps getting requests for pop-up installations. It has been sited at Exeter Cathedral, The Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital, The University of Exeter and MakeTank.

  10. Many people have helped to make and move the Tree Of Hope. Vicki took my hand-drawn design and turned it into a digital file for laser-cutting. Dave and Keith assembled the Tree Of Hope for the first time, without clear instructions, outside the Cathedral and against the clock. Lizzie, Eliott, Nigel, Akinola, Ophelia and Olya helped to disassemble and reassemble the sculpture as it toured.

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