Enriching the Creative Wellbeing of Individuals and Communities
A Leaf-by-Leaf project provides a guided, facilitated professional artwork that honours both the individual and the collective; the creative process and the finished product; the diversity and universality of human lived experience.
support individuals to make unique art pieces,
which are then synthesised
into a meaningful collective creation.
creativity, confidence, compassion, connection
and community wellbeing.
The whole is more than the sum of its art
This model of creative wellbeing community projects has been originated, designed and implemented by the artist and art therapist, Sally Swain. The name “Leaf by Leaf”, represents the process of each project.
Many precious individual artworks come together to create a large group art work, much like the valued individuals that come together to create a team, community or social group.
A Leaf-by-Leaf project is inclusive of all client groups and populations, including social groups, staff, families, care recipients or service users.
A Leaf-by-Leaf project is safely facilitated by one or more experienced art therapists.
How it works
Working in groups, each individual participant is guided in their personalised creation of an artwork. These artworks are then assembled and constructed into a professional artwork by Sally to be returned to the home, ward, facility, community centre, office or public space that the participants wish to display their works in.
A theme or motif that is suitable to the group may be used, such as: Hope, Resilience, Self-Care or a Landscape, Home, Coral Reef, Mandala, Bird.
Benefits and Outcomes
Working in the Leaf-by-Leaf model honours the individual in the group, whilst connecting them with their broader community.
This way the therapists can provide person-centred care, a strength-based perspective and encourage community engagement.
The Leaf-by-Leaf model helps participants to feel welcomed, important and grounded in their spaces. It promotes self-esteem, autonomy, agency, sharing of story and positive connection with others. The artwork becomes a physical representation of community; a consistent reminder of the participant’s ability to create and thrive.
Sally has initiated and implemented over fifteen Leaf-by-Leaf projects,
many in aged care facilities;
some with the support of team member Clemency Doyle.
These include ‘Tree of All Seasons’,
‘Cloverview’ for St Patrick’s Day,
‘Doves of Care’ for Foundation Day,
‘Southern Star Garden’ for Survival/Australia Day,
‘Heartwork Mandala’, a creative collaboration with staff in appreciation of a manager,
‘Tea for Two’,
‘Flower Power Pop’.
She created ‘FoRest’ with Newtown Wellness Centre community.
Participants were invited to consider what sustained them – what got them through the year.
They then decorated a leaf to attach to the ‘FoRest’ sculpture made from native branches gathered during the FireTimes of late 2019.
In March, 2020, colleague and team member Clemency Doyle, initiated and coordinated a Leaf-by-Leaf bushfire recovery program for the people of the Eurobodalla Shire on the NSW South Coast. It was hugely successful.
Contact Sally Swain to discuss a Leaf-by-Leaf possibility for your community, home or workplace.