Art project encouraged carers to get that Friday feeling
Members of the Wexford branch of Family Carers Ireland took part in a handmade book project entitled 'That Friday Feeling' with the artist Mairead Stafford.
Carers rarely get the opportunity to feel like everyone else, finishing at the end of the week and enjoying a sense of relaxation and achievement.
The project involved creating individualised artistic books in which they recorded their personal achievements, in an exercise that evoked smiles and a feeling of relaxation.
Mairead worked with the group to develop the following five-point strategy, encouraging them to take care of themselves in what can be a very demanding role:
1. Move your body, go for a walk, run or do just gently swing your arms.
2. Take a break, get away for a holiday or a day or even step out of the room.
3. Be patient with yourself, accepting where you are at this moment.
4. Ask for help and learn to let go of the outcome or how someone else might do the job.
5. Allow yourself to dream, it's important to have things that you would like to do and they are your dreams, enjoy them.
Paper, fabric, metal, wood, ink, paint and ceramic tiles as well as found materials such as flowers and leaves and memorabilia were used to create the books which are on public display at the Wexford Carers Office in Henrietta Street, Wexford.
The techniques included watercolour, calligraphy and mixed media.
The participants are all members of support groups attached to Family Carers Wexford who care for loved ones with varying types of illnesses and disabilities.
The project is part of the Creative Communities Programme and was funded by the Arts Department of Wexford County Council.