Art Therapy with Catherine Wilde


Letting our creative sides run Wilde!

The first thing everybody notices when they visit 18 Hope Street is gallery of artwork we have in nearly every room in the house. Landscapes, portraits and still lifes, in watercolours, charcoal and pastel, all the artistic schools are represented, from Picasso to Bugs Bunny, and all of it produced by the residents themselves. It’s all thanks to our incredible art therapist, Catherine Wilde. Catherine has been running sessions at 18 Hope Street since 2011 and the place would not be the same without her. As well as helping the residents to create masterpieces, the sessions are a social event and even those not picking up a paintbrush make a point of coming to see the her and argue over who gets to make her a cup of tea this week!

Catherine initially came for one session, and to say the residents were reluctant to join in at first would be a bit of an understatement! But this did not deter Catherine one bit; slowly but surely her enthusiasm spread and one-by-one the residents joined in. By the end of the afternoon there was no question in anyone’s mind about whether she should come again and the art therapy sessions have been a regular feature ever since.

After a while, the residents had begun to produce some quite out-standing pieces and so Catherine decided she would help the residents organise and exhibition. They booked a room in the Nexus Café Manchester, where their work was on show to the public for several weeks. It was such a rewarding experience for the residents to be able to see the art they had produced hanging alongside that of professional artists.

Once they had a second exhibition at the Nexus Café under their belt, Catherine’s next project for the residents was to hold an art auction in order to raise money for Macmillan. The residents chose their best pieces (the ones they could bare to part with!) and got them framed. The auction was held in the Firstwood Community Centre in Stretford, Manchester, and Catherine roped in every niece, daughter, cousin and niece’s daughter’s cousin she could into baking cakes for the event! The day was a roaring success with friends and family turning up to try and outbid each other for the best works. Best of all, we made £226 for Macmillan! Being on the receiving end of care so often in their lives, our residents often have a greater desire than most to help those less fortunate than themselves, and this allowed them to do just that.

So with another auction in the pipeline for the summer and the Sunday sessions showing no signs of stopping, we are considering changing our name to Tate Salford!

To contact Catherine and to see some of her work click here.