The value of being in the countryside for positive mental health

The People's Community Garden
The Culture of the Countryside worked with the creative and talented Ipswich based art group Inside Out to explore movement and the value of being in the countryside for positive mental health. As one of the group said, “I find peace walking across the fields.” The starting point for these workshops was looking at and discussing Justin Partyka’s ‘The East Anglians’ photographs, which were showing at the time at The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts. The group all enjoyed exploring the perceptions and feelings about these images and there was lots of lively talk and original responses. We then introduced Claire Findlay of DanceEast who developed the focus of movement on the land to step dancing moves and the DanceEast programme, ‘Soil Dances’. The first workshop finished with the group making very skilled and beautiful card jig dolls and also personal interpretations of countryside scenes. On the second day the group enjoyed and responded to live music played whilst exploring The People’s community Gardens.


The Inside Out Community is an arts in mental health organisation founded in 2003 by Jan Addison a drama therapist, actress and sculptor and Pete Watkins a mental health professional, lecturer and author.