Maria first ran creative workshops in Southampton hospital in 1990. In 2019 Elysium Healthcare commissioned Maria to co-create Recovery Tree Murals with patients and staff in their secure and neurological hospitals. The projects are week-long residencies and engage both the service users and staff in their co-creation. These projects are UK wide and on-going.
During COVID Maria developed an evaluation tool for the sector – The Wellbeing Measure. It is in use internationally and was described by Nicky Goulder, CEO of Create, as ‘a work of art and a work of heart’. It is available for use and adaptation on request.
– Jessica Wilson, Hospital Director
Maria has facilitated creative workshops since 1986. She works with all ages and abilities to draw out the artist in everyone.
In 2011 she won The Big Draw’s Drawing Inspiration Award and in 2012 Action for Children’s Arts gave her a Members Award in recognition of her ‘contribution to the enrichment of children’s lives through the arts’.
Maria also has extensive experience of working with people with forms of disadvantage, such as physical disabilities and mental ill health.
“We used the music to help us paint. I started off with a sound mark like a note, then I made it longer. When I’m normally painting, I do animals, but when I was painting yesterday it was like playing music.”
– Aran aged 6, school workshop.
TRAINER & MENTOR
Since 2004 Maria has devised and delivered training to other artists who wish to facilitate workshops, as well as offering creative training to educators and healthcare workers.
Maria also mentors artists in both their creative practice and on the professional aspects of their business.
“Really valuable to have the time to think of my own skills and qualities and how they can be used in participatory and collaborative ways. A brilliant day, thank you.”
– Artist on Artist Facilitator Training Skills course 2017.