Leaf-by-Leaf projects

Tree of All Seasons
Sally Swain
with aged care
residents, staff, family
and management

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.

Leaf-by-Leaf projects

support individuals to make unique art pieces,

which are then synthesised

into a meaningful collective creation.

Leaf-by-Leaf projects

cultivate

creativity, confidence, compassion, connection

and community wellbeing.

The whole is more than the sum of its art

Doves of Care
a Leaf-by-Leaf artwork
Sally Swain, with aged care community

Leaf-by-Leaf Projects
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.

Southern Star Garden
created by Sally Swain
with an aged care community
for Survival/Australia Day

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.

Cloverview
created by Sally Swain
with an aged care community
for St Patrick’s Day

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.

an individual creating feathers for Doves of Care

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,

Heartwork Mandala
a Leaf-by-Leaf project – a creative collaboration with staff to celebrate a beloved manager

‘Tea for Two’,

Tea for Two
a Leaf-by-Leaf
(or Tea-leaf-by-Tea-leaf) project coordinated by Sally Swain alongside an aged care community

‘Flower Power Pop’.

Flower Power Pop
Sally Swain with aged care residents

She created ‘FoRest’ with Newtown Wellness Centre community.

FoRest
Leaf-by-Leaf project
with Newtown Wellness Centre community

Participants were invited to consider what sustained them – what got them through the year.

FoRest
Leaf-by-Leaf project
with Newtown Wellness Centre community

FoRest
Leaf-by-Leaf project
with Newtown Wellness Centre community

They then decorated a leaf to attach to the ‘FoRest’ sculpture made from native branches gathered during the FireTimes of late 2019.

FoRest
Leaf-by-Leaf project
with Newtown Wellness Centre community

FoRest
Leaf-by-Leaf project
with Newtown Wellness Centre community

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.

Tree of Lives
detail
Coordinated by Sally Swain

Contact Sally Swain to discuss a Leaf-by-Leaf possibility for your community, home or workplace.

an individual makes an art contribution for Tree of Lives

Tree of All Seasons
Sally Swain
with aged care
residents, staff, family
and management