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29 Aug 2019

Mindfulness matters

A number of decorated pebbles are spread across a table amongst sketches and marker pens.
Kindness rocks, painted at a mindfulness workshop on the Isle of Canna
We’re hosting a number of mindfulness events at our places.

Mindfulness teaches us skills and techniques to help us deal better with life stresses and challenges. By practising mindfulness we develop the ability to be less reactive to the challenges we face in everyday life and learn to respond in a calmer and more considered way. Evidence shows that practising mindfulness can reduce stress and anxiety levels, allowing us to experience more joy and happiness in our lives.

A view of the woodland at Geilston Garden, looking towards a stone wall. Irises grow on a riverbank in the foreground.
The tranquil woodland at Geilston Garden

On Saturday 31 August 2019, Geilston Garden is hosting a morning of Mindfulness for Young Ones. This session will encourage children and their families to interact with the natural environment and find out more about the produce growing in Geilston’s kitchen garden. That afternoon, adults are invited to an introduction to mindfulness: What is mindfulness and why practise it? These mindfulness taster sessions will take place in the beautiful surroundings of Geilston Garden and will focus on engaging in mindful eating, walking and movement activities.

The walled garden at Inverewe, looking towards the loch with hills in the distance. Visitors walk along the terraced paths. Pink flowers spring up in the foreground.
Inverewe Garden

At Inverewe, Swedish-born artist David Sandum’s residency opened on Saturday 17 August 2019. With an emerging body of work entitled Evolving Impressions, David has been adding to the formerly blank walls with new paintings and drawings inspired by the garden at Inverewe. David spends his time between the garden and the gallery, making the most of his stay while sharing his experiences with visitors, volunteers and staff.

David Sandum leans on a work surface in a studio, surrounded by painting equipment. A bright watercolour of a city scene hangs on an easel in the background.
David Sandum

David’s Evolving Impressions exhibition is the latest in an on-going journey he’s undertaken since 2002. He became a professional artist who uses art and walking in wild places as personal therapy to help him recover his mental health, and emerge from severe depression at the turn of the millennium.

With David’s openness and willing to engage in sharing his own experience, Inverewe has teamed up with GALE (Gairloch and Loch Ewe) to help demystify mental health. A week-long programme of raising awareness activities looks to open up a positive discussion around mental health and wellbeing in the community.

Artist David Sandum stands beside a bold-coloured painting of a Scottish coastline, displayed on a timber wall.
Artist David Sandum, with one of his paintings

Earlier in the summer, the Shearing Shed on Canna played host to a mindful Community Arts event. Designed to promote wellbeing, creativity and kindness, Fiona MacKenzie, Canna House Manager and Archivist, arranged for artist Raine Clarke to deliver a workshop for all ages, residents and visitors alike. Participants painted various sizes of pebbles in an array of designs and included a motivational word or phrase. The pebbles were all painted with the hashtag #kindnessrocks and then left in discreet places around the island for others to find and be inspired by.

“The workshop gave both local residents and staff the opportunity to engage with visitors in a relaxing and inspiring environment, producing some beautiful pieces of artwork which will bring pleasure and peace to finders for many years.”
Fiona MacKenzie
Canna House Manager and Archivist

Participants also had the opportunity to design and work on a gauze panel printed with leaves, grasses, feathers and other natural resources. The resulting work is displayed in the Canna pier waiting room.

A gauze panel,printed with leaves, grasses and feathers, lies on a checked tablecloth.
A gauze panel printed with leaves, grasses and feathers